Astrakhan Nature Reserve is one of the oldest reserves in Russia, established in 1919. It is located in the estuary if the greatest Russian River – Volga. Its territory incudes also small water area of Caspian Sea.
Volga estuary is habitat for more than 200 bird species, many migrating birds make stop here, among them – rare Asiatic white cranes. In lower reaches of a river cattle egrets and Dalmatian pelicans as well as Asiatic white cranes are nesting listed in the Red Book. Ornithological tours are organized in the territory if the reserve. Plant world of the reserve is represented with four types - brushwood, forest plants, meadow plants and water plants. Rare species which can be met here are lotus, cattail and water chestnut – ling.
Ecological path is organized in Damchik area of Astrakhan Nature Reserve. Route goes through 4 islands, each of which allows getting acquainted with diverse reserved biotopes and the inhabitants. The trip start from Volga water courses, which banks are framed with meadow and cane plants. Visitors of the reserve go on the water part of the route by long motor boats resembling in their form old fish men boats - small rowboats. After going about 3 kilometers by water visitors come to the beginning of the hiking part of the ecological path. Its route includes gallery forests and brushes of Hindu lotus.
The Astrakhan Nature Reserve belongs to the International System of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO and is the part of the wetland of international significance Estuary of the Volga River.