1. Speak on the geographical position and climate of Mordovia. Do you have your own beautiful place in Mordovia. Are the flora and fauna of Mordovia diverse?

The Republic of Mordovia is situated in the central part of the Russian plain between the two rivers: the Oka and Sura. The Republic of Mordovia stretches along the wood and steppe natural zones. The total area of the republic is 26,2 thousand km. Mordovia borders on the Nizhegorodskiy region in the north, in the east in borders on the Uljanovskij region, in the south – on the Penzenskiy region and in the west – on the Ryazanskiy region. The geographical position of Mordovia in the region with a favorable moderate – continental climate combining the fertile black soil and less qualitative grey wood soil facilitates to promote the development of diversified agriculture cultivating grain, potatoes and cattle growing. The nature of the Republic of Mordovia is extremely various. We can find deep and thick woods of the Meshera, partially wooden steppe and black soil districts, traces of Middle-Russian Uplands, bogs and sands, rivers and lakes.

The animal life of the republic is now much poorer that it used to be a few centuries ago. With the disappearance of forests, many forest animals have become practically extinct. Nevertheless we can still find the inhabitants of taiga animals: the brown bear, the lynx, the wood grouse and number of steppe inhabitants: the ground squirrel, hamster and great bustard. There are more than 200 kinds of birds on the territory of Mordovia, including blackbirds, sparrows, starlings, pigeons, swallows; about 60 kinds of mammals, including the wolf, the bear, the deer, the elk and the fox. Of smaller animals there are mice, rats, hedgehogs, squirrels and hares. The rivers and lakes are full of breams, sterlets, tenches, crucians, tens and other kinds of fish. With its temperate climate and a variety of soils Mordovia has a diverse pattern of vegetation. The most common trees are wild ash, pine, birch, poplar, fur-tree, maple and many others. The relief of the surface of the republic is lowland and plain, a little raised and hilly in the South-eastern part, low mainly in the valley of the river Moksha and its inflows in the West and North-west. The duration of the warm period of the year, with temperature higher than 0C is about 210 days, the number of the un-frosty days is 130-135. The least steady element of the climate is rain and snow. Average annual rainfall and snowfall in Mordovia is about 450-500 mm. Dry winds that blow 40 days a year, droughts, early and late frosts, downpours with hail are unfavorable climatic conditions in Mordovia. They are not very frequent, but do exist.