On July 30, 2020, started a complex research expedition of the Kostroma regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society to the Soligalichsky District. The results of this work will form the foundation for the creation of a regional integral reserve.
The north of the Soligalichsky District is the watershed area between the White Sea and the Caspian Sea, the land of hills and river valleys, old-growth forests, where birch, spruce and aspen forests alternate with mighty pine forests growing on the ridges of hills ("veretyes"). A huge swamp mass in the basins of the Sukhona and Sovega rivers goes even further north - to the Vologda Oblast.
Anna Efimova, senior researcher of the Nature Department of the Kostroma Museum-Reserve, a member of the Russian Geographical Society, "There are raised and transitional bogs, surrounding old-growth swamp forests, with rich flora and fauna, an abundance of rare species of animals and plants. Here, back in 2005, it was planned to create a protected area - an integral reserve of regional significance "Sovega". Our expedition is planning to explore this area as fully as possible to justify giving the territory a protected status."
Paleontologists must fulfill a special task during the expedition. In these places, not only the modern fauna and flora, but also the ancient organisms, that lived in the ancient Paleozoic sea, which was here more than 250 million years ago, are of great interest. A tectonic uplift at the beginning of the Cretaceous period squeezed out large strata of limestone from an ancient fault in the Soligalichsky District to the surface, in which a great many ancient marine inhabitants were conserved.
Anatoly Antsiferov, head of the expedition, Candidate of Biological Sciences, "We are researching the outcrops of the oldest rocks of the Upper Paleozoic era, which are located along the right-bank valley of the Kostroma River. These are the compressed remains of the skeletons and shells of ancient marine organisms that were living and dying for hundreds of millions of years, accumulating in the cavity of a deep tectonic fault in the earth's crust, known in modern geology as the ‘Soligalich aulacogen’. This allows us to trace the history of the development of the earth's surface in the Kostroma Oblast from the end of the Paleozoic era.”
The expedition, organized with the support of the Kostroma branch of the Russian Geographical Society, involves specialists from the Department of Nature of the Kostroma Museum-Reserve, the Komarov Botanical Institute (St. Petersburg), Moscow State Pedagogical University (MPGU), Yu.P. Karvatsky Ecological and Biological Center "Sledovo"(Kostroma).