National parks, which have become the main form of the territorial nature protection of the most countries in the twentieth century, first appeared in Russia in 1980. One of the first national parks was the Pribaikalsky National Park, organized in the period of the public struggle in order to save Lake Baikal. The decision on its establishment was taken by the Council of Ministers of the Russian Federation on February 13, 1986.
The park is a protected natural area of federal significance. In 1996 Lake Baikal was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The territory of the park covers a larger part (about 470 km) of the western coast of Lake Baikal - from the village of Kultuk in the south to Cape Kocherikovsky in the north. It is the most extensive national park in Russia. It occupies the eastern slopes of the Primorsky Range, the southern part of the Olkhinskoye Plateau, the basin of the Big River (which flows into the Angara River) and the island of Olkhon. The southern part of the Pribaikalny National Park is cracked by the mighty Angara River.
The park includes the largest protected part of Baikal shores (almost a quarter of their total length) – Zabaikalsky National Park, which comprises the bigger part than that that Baikal-Lena and Barguzinsky Reserves have together. In the richness and variety of flora and fauna, the number of rare species, as well as in the abundance of archaeological sites our National Park surpasses any other protected area of the Baikal region. The total area of the park is 417297 hectares. It is located in Sludyansky, Irkutsky and Olkhonsky administrative districts of Irkutsk Oblast.
The variety of landscapes gives you an opportunity to admire rare and often unique plant communities, which in other places cannot be found. Especially noteworthy are the rocky mountain steppes of Priolhonje, populated by relict plants - natives of the Arctic tundra, of the steppes and deserts of Central Asia and by local endemic plants; the sand dunes of the island of Olhon; desert steppes in the vicinity of the Tazheran Salt Lakes; coniferous pine and fir thickets of the upper reaches of the river Altai; tundra areas and thickets of cedar elfin wood on the watersheds of the rivers of Zunduk, Ilikta, Kocherikova and Anai.