More than 314 species of higher plants may be found in Astrakhan Reserve.
There are four types of vegetation in Astrakhan Reserve: shrub, forest, meadow and aquatic.
Only shrubs and trees which are green in summer grow in the Volga delta. White willow (Salix alba) and pencil ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) form continuous gallery forests along the banks of the river branches.
The reserve’s most striking flora is its aquatic vegetation. Lotus (Nelumbo caspica), white water lily (Nymphaea alba) yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea) – these plants, with large, bright flowers, create landscapes that amaze travelers and inspire artists.
The fauna of the Astrakhan reserve belongs to the European type, including elements of other types. There are 1248 species of insects, 4 species of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles, 61 species of fish, 307 species of birds and 40 species of mammals.
Many of the insect species that live in the Volga delta are associated with aquatic existence. In summer, in the meadows you can see many insects – dragonflies, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies. All of them are an important link of the food chain – they are food for many species of other larger animals.
The lake frog (Rana ridibunda) is the more numerous amphibian species in the Volga delta. The common species of the reptiles in the Astrakhan Reserve are grass snake (Natrix natrix) and aquatic snake (Natrix tessellata).
116 species of birds nest in the Astrakhan Reserve, 237 occur during periods of migration, 78 during wintering and 59 irregularly fly into the delta. The basis of the local ornitofauna is made up of wetland birds nesting in trees or in reed-cattail. Many species of birds are associated with reservoirs – here they feed and build nests next to the river. More than 30 species belong to forest birds and only 3 species – to inhabitants of meadow ecosystems.The Volga Delta is one of the most important areas on the Eurasian continent as the place of mass bird accumulation during periods of seasonal migration. The territory of the Astrakhan reserve is a part of the Wetlands of international importance “Volga River Delta”.