FAUNA

The SNTS territory has rich and diverse fauna. The fauna of vertebrates is presented by 216 species including 52 mammal species, 147 bird species, 8 fish species, 7 reptiles and 2 amphibia. 16 species are included in the Red Book of the International Society for Nature Protection and Red Book of Kazakhstan. Of 178 mammal species inhabiting on the territory of Kazakhstan, 52 species from 6 classes are met at SNTS territory.  

The smallest and the most numerous representatives of mam-mals at SNTS are mouse-like rodents.
Studying of mouse-like rodents showed that concentration of 137Cs in biological tissues of jerboa-jumpers inhabiting even on the dumps of the Atomic lake (level 1) did not exceed 125 Bq/kg. In biological tissues of jerboa-jumpers on adjacent to the Atomic lake (level II) territories, concentration of 137Cs was below 70 Bq/kg and in jerboa caught on “clean” areas of the testing ground Balapan (level III) concentration of 137Cs was below 1.9 Bq/kg.
Concentration of 137Cs in soil in the places of catching: level I – 3*104 Bq/kg; level II – 50 Bq/kg; level III – 10 Bq/kg
Reptiles at the SNTS territory are presented by 7 species of total 49 species inhabiting Kazakhstan. The most numerous are the representatives of sub-class of lizards – nimble lizard, motley lizard and takyr round-headed lizard.


137Сs specific activity in the organism of nimble lizard inhabiting the testing ground Degelen reached 600 Bq/kg at average con-centration in soil 2x105 and maximal values equal to 1.7×106 Bq/kg
Snakes in the region are presented by steppe viper, grass-snake and the most widely spread of them – patterned runner.
As the territory was historically a nature reserve, the class of Artiodactyls is presented by Siberian roe-deer, elk, saiga and arkhar. Radiological investigations for these species were not made but as some of them refer to commercial species, it is necessary to carry out such investigations.
Practically all parts of the Test Site are inhabited with predators: fox, corsac, badger and big-eared hedgehog. Less numerous are groups of wolves, ermine, weasel and others.

2 Amphibian species (of 12 known in Kazakhstan) inhabit the SNTS territory, they refer to the group of tailless Amphibia – green toad and piked frog.
The most numerous representatives of fauna are birds. Orni-thofauna of the SNTS territory is presented by many species. 15 classes include 147 species of 488 species known in Kazakhstan.
The SNTS lakes as well as the unique Atomic lake are the places of inhabitance for numerous waterfowls and near-water birds. Steppe landscapes have numerous sparrow-like birds. The SNTS fauna is embellished by representatives of day predators (falcon-like birds) – 19 species. Among the birds inhabiting SNTS, there are rare birds included in the Red Book. They are
Ichthyofauna of the STS inhabiting in the basin of the Shagan river and streams of the Degelen mountains is presented by the class of carp fish. Six fish species were found in the Shagan river and only one in the stream Uzynbulak in mountain range Dege-len. In the Atomic lake, minnow and acclimatized sazan were observed, but recently these fishes disappeared from the lake. Radiology of the SNTS ichthyofauna as well as ornithofauna has not been studied yet.