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The nominated area is located on the north-western spur of the Eastern Sayan. Its natural borders are right tributaries of the Yenisey River; in the north-east the Bazaikha, in the south and south-west - the rivers Mana and Bolshaya Slimeva. In the north-east the territory borders on the suburb of Krasnoyarsk.
According to geomorphological division the territory where "Stolby" is located lies in the zone of contact of Altai-Sayan mountain country with Mid-Siberian plateau and Western Siberian plain. The rocks are mostly of sedimentary and volcanic origin, aged from the Cambrian (more than 600 million years old) to the Carbon period. Stolby's massive, comprising all the known rocks ("stolby"), is a part of Shumikhinskiy intrusive complex formed of pinkish-red quartz syenite. It has a linear shape and stretches in the north-eastern direction, where the ancient remains - "stolby" - are located in the form of a chain.
Petrographic structure is plain, rocks are mostly formed of potassium feldspar - orthoclase. On the whole, Stolby's massive has a shape of a stock (drop-like or cylindrical shape) 'and in accordance with geophysical data goes down to a significant depth. In the process of cooling of melting magma, which penetrated from the depth of 500 - 1500 m into a layer of peneplain there formed a system of cracks naturally spread across the whole massive. Selective weathering along those cracks led to the formation of mattress-like prismatic detachments, which caused all the diversity of the rock outcrops. In the region of syenite intrusion there are more than 600 rock outcrops and about 60 of them are 50-100 metres high.
The newest rise and division of the territory has continued during the Cainozoi era (30-35 million years) until nowadays. Ancient peneplainized surface risen in the regicrn of the nature reserve up to 700-900 m above sea level was considerably influenced by water erosion, which was the cause of the formation of winding arcs of Listvyazhnyi, Central (Abatakskiy) and Kaidynskiy ridges, each one about 11-16 km long. On the Carnbrian deposits surrounding "Stolby" from the North, East and West karst areas appeared. Among them there are fields of karst craters, caves up to 200 m deep, rivers disappearing under ground, the so-called "stone city" etc.
Continental climate of the territory is slightly softened by mountainous relief and differs -from borderline forest-steppe by higher air humidity, precipitation (686mm) and shorter vegetation period (138 days). The average annual temperature at "Stolby" is - 1.2'C, in the forest-steppe - +0.3 "C.
Soil and Vegetation.
With change of absolute height of the area soil and vegetation also change. In the lowmountain area (200-500 m above sea level) sub-taiga and forest-steppe leaf-bearing and light coniferous forests are spread on mountain grey forest soils. The higher areas (500-800 m above sea level) are covered with the light coniferous and dark coniferous taiga on mountain podzolic soils.
On the nominated territory pine and silver fir forests predominate. Siberian pine and larch forests are less spread. Aspen and birch forests are spread in transformed areas where selective cutting down of trees was made.
On the steep south slopes there can be found small (up to 3 ha) steppe pieces in the middle of the forests which are parts of ancient steppes, formerly much more extensive. According to some data, 4-5 thousands years ago real steppes extended over a significant area on the territory of the reserve. In the caves bone remains of marmot (Marmota baibacina) and Myospalax myospalax - steppe inhabitants - were found. The total area of those pieces is not more than 1% of the reserve's territory. In those steppe parts a third of all Stolby's higher plants is registered.
The flora of the territory is represented by 728 species of angiospermous plants, 6 - gymnospennous plants, 40 - fern-like plants $ 3 - Lycopodiophyta, 257 - moss-like plants, 17 1 - lichens, 148 - fungi, including 114 relic and endemic plants of Siberia.
The fauna of the vertebrate animals is rather well-studied. There was described 1 species of cyclostomes, 22 species of bony fishes, 4 - of amphibians, 5 - of reptiles, 212 - of birds and 58- of mammals. The fauna of invertebrate animals has lack of researchers' attention. So, out of all the diversity of living beings in this area there was described 1 species of sponges, 4 - of turbellaria, 28 - of oligochaeta, 6 - of leeches, 2 - of polyzoa, 18 - of mollusks, 28 - of crustaceans, 59 - of arachnids, 1 165 - of insects.
Most of the animals are forest and taiga species. Out of the mammals sable was reacclimatized, and such acclimatisants as American mink and muskrat populated the reserve independently.
On the territory of the reserve species from the Red Book of the Russian Federation were registered: 1 species of butterfly - Parnfssius Apollo L. and 8 species of birds (Ciconia nigra L., Pandion haliaetus L., 'Aquila chrysaetos L., Aquila heliaca Sev., Aquila rapax Temrn., Falco cherrug Gray., Falco peregrius Tunst., Bubo bubo L.).
150 years ago at "Stolby" a unique mass sport movement, called "stolbism" appeared. Its essence is freestyle mountaineering. "Stolbism" in its ethno-social sense should be preserved as people's non-material heritage.
Since the end of the 19th century the region of present-day Stolby has become a favourite place of rest and mountaineering for Krasnoyarsk citizens. In 1925 the part Central Stolby was proclaimed a natural reserve and later in 1936, 1938, 1946, 1954 the area of the natural state reserve "Stolby" gradually extended. Today its total area is 47,219 ha.
Within the reserve an area for tourists and excursions is allotted (1,4 10 ha) with a special set of rules and regulations.
Across the perimeter there is an off-limits zone 1.0 - 1.5 km wide, with the total area of 1 3,464 ha.
Measures taken have provided a high degree of preservation of the nominated natural reserve for more than 80 years.
Status of being the World Heritage Site will provide better guarantees of preservation of Krasnoyarsk Stolby and protect the place from possible threats to its integrity coming from economical and recreational human activities.