On the Heart Lake
Khamar-Daban Mountains lie in the very South of Lake Baikal. It is an impressive natural border
despite its comparatively lower altitude of about 2.000 to 2.300 meters above sea level. Its
climate is relatively mild but wet.
Khamar-Daban Mountains is still a very wild area and is the home of birds of prey and the rare
black stork as well as maral, deer, roe dear, wild boars, wolves and many other animals.
The mountains holds diversre and rich flora including rare plants, a rare species of blue spruce and
giant poplars. Conifer taiga, consisting of cedar and fir covers the slopes of the watershed ranges.
During the short Siberian summer, ferns and grasses are known to grow to more than two meters in height.
In the taiga, there are wide patches of berries and meadows with wild garlic. Nearer to the watershed,
the taiga changes into subalpine meadows and later into mountainous tundra. Animals living on the tundra
include polar deer, white grouse and bear. Drark cedar taiga gradually turns to light conifer fir, pine
and birch groves in river valleys and the steppes of the southern slopes.
Much of the area is protected by the Baikalsky National Park.