Major cities and places - Tomsk
Area: 316.900 sq km
Location: Geographic center of Siberia
Population: approx 1 036 500 (Tomsk oblast)
City code: 3822
Tomsk was founded in1604 by decree of the Russian tsar Boris Godunov on the right bank of the river Tom at the confluence of the Tom and the Ushaika. According to historian Miller G.F., “even by a longer search one couldn’t have found a better place in this area”. In order to build a fortress, two hundred Cossacks arrived here under the command of V. Tyrkov and G. Picemsky. Since that time Tomsk took on special significance in conquest of people of other ethnic groups who were living to south of Tomsk.
In 1944 Tomsk became the center of Tomsk oblast. The population in Tomsk oblast density is extremely nonuniform, being only as low as 0.3 persons per km2 in remote northern areas.
Most part of the territory is occupied by forests, swamps, rivers and lakes. The largest rivers are the Ob, the Tom, the Chulym, the Ket, the Tym and the Vasyugan. The whole river system belongs to the basin of the Ob, which crosses the oblast from the south-east to the north-west over 1000 km dividing the territory into 2 almost equal parts.
The number of lakes, especially numerous in the river flood lands, reaches 95000. The largest is Lake Mirnoye with surface area of 18.4 km2 lies on the flat interfluve between the rivers Chusik and Chizhapka (Parabel region) with surface area of 18.3 km2. High right bank is not as bogged up as the left one and is marked by higher population density. The left bank includes huge Vasyugan swamp (the largest in the world) – 53 ths. km2. There are 573 rivers in Tomsk region with the length more than 20 km and 35 lakes ranging from 5 to more square kilometers. River valleys occupy 1/5 of all the territory of the region.
Considerable part of the region is taken by woodland, where main zones can be traced: central taiga, southern taiga and forest steppe. Siberian taiga has the following types of finewood: Siberian pine, fir-tree, abies.
The territory is partially flat and partially covered by taiga that is why more than half of all animals is connected with forests, one third is inclined to wetlands. Biodiversity is represented by 325 bird species, 60 mammal species, 5 amphibian species and 4 reptile species.
In the rivers and lakes of the oblast live 33 species of fish 15 species have commercial value: White salmon, whitefish, sturgeon, starlet, peled. Annual fish catch amounts to more than 2000 tons. Fish stock of the Tomsk oblast has grown over the last years.
The fauna of the Tomsk oblast is also rich: its territory is a home for 28 species of game animals – elk, deer, roe, brown bear, lynx, glutton, sable, fox, squirrel, wolf and more than 40 specias of birds.
On the whole, the ecological situation in the Tomsk oblast is favorable. Specially protected natural areas make a significant contribution to the conservation and reproduction of flora and fauna. These areas are presented by 16 reserves (1 federal, 15 regional), 144 regional natural monuments, 1 natural recreation territory, and the unique plant collection of the Siberian Botanical Garden, which is the oldest park in the Asian part of Russia.
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