The reserve was based on June, 11th, 1931 for the purpose of preservation of the natural complexes surrounding plain Kivach waterfall on the river Suna.
The reserve is the highest category of specially guarded natural territories having the strictest procedure of protection. The reserve territory is completely withdrawn from the economic use and is protected by the State.
Reserve Kivach is the nature conservation, research and ecological-educational State institution of federal value which is under the authority of the Department of a State policy and regulations in the area of environment preservation and ecological safety of the Ministry of natural resources and ecology of the Russian Federation.
The territory with center in the settlement of Kivach where the standard natural zone of the middle subzone of European taiga is taken under protection. It is located in Kondopoga region, 18 km to the northwest from Kondopoga. It was founded in 1931. The nature reserve occupies 10870 hectares, its conservation zone makes 5888 hectares. The place has got the name from the Kivach waterfalls on the Suna River.
In the conservation zone there is the geological nature sanctuary of Sundozersky open-cast. Large forests occupy more than 80% of the reserve's territory. The most valueable there are ripe, mainly coniferous woods. Their average age makes 120 years, and some pines are about 300-350 years old. Alongside with conifer and deciduous species typical for the region there also are broad-leaved tree: lindens, mountain elms, black alders. About 5% of the territory of the Kivach nature reserve is occupied with bogs with rich vegetative cover.
The flora totals more than 780 species of vascular plants, 325 species of lichens and 193 species of leafy mosses. Among them there are many rare, protected in Karelia. Species usual for the middle subzone of taiga dominate there: bilberries, cowberries, twinflower (Linnaea borealis), stiff club-moss, sylvan horsetail, etc. Among the rare red-listed species there are lady's slipper, ghost orchid, spring and lake quillworts.
In territory of the Kivach nature reserve there are 271 species of ground vertebrates, including 47 species of mammals, 216 species of birds, 3 species of reptiles and 5 species amphibious is registered. 25 species of fishes live in reservoirs. There have been revealed 276 species of spiders, 3531 species of insects. Of them 107 species are included in the Red book of Karelia. More than 60% of animal species live on the woods, middle taiga for the most part: red-backed mice, squirrels, mountain hares, bears, mooses, hazel-grouses, wood-grouses, goldeneyes, chaffinches, willow wrens, brown frogs. There are also representatives of southern wood and forest-steppe zones, as well as tundra and northern taiga. Amond the northern species there should be mentioned three-toed woodpecker, white grouse, in some years wood lemmings were found. Amond the southern species thereb should be mentioned wild boars, lake seagulls, blackbirds, and wood warblers. Gluttons, roe deers, quails, nighthawks, orioles, nightingales and included in the Red Book of Russia fish hawks, white-tailed eagles, peregrines, and golden eagles are found seldom.