Golden Mountain of Altai

Where the countries China, Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan come together, lies the Golden Mountains of Altai (alternatively Altay). The Turkish believe the Altay Mountains to be their place of birth, and in Turkic, the word Altay or Alytau, means gold for the “Al” and mount for the “tau”. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was named the Golden Mountains of Altai, consists of Mount Belukha, the Ukok Plateau, the Altai and Katun Natural Reserves and Lake Teletskoye. Not only is protecting these sites as heritage sites important for the preservation of the subalpine vegetation, mixed forests, forest steppe and alpine vegetation, but assists in the conservation of the endangered Altai Argali and the snow leopard.

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