Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR), Ukraine host the largest wilderness ares in country!

CBR just recently confirmed interest to become a member of the European Wilderness Preservation System and already express interest to support the verification team with transport and local accommodation in the park facilities.

CBR was created to protect  specific ecosystems of the Carpathians as part of a wider network of protected ecosystems throughout the former Soviet Union. It became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1992 and it consists of  a total area of 57,880 hectares of which a significant part of the reserve is of wilderness quality.

Endless beach forest in Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

Endless beach forest in Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

CBR, consists of eight mountains massifs, allocated in the central and eastern sectors of the Ukrainian Carpathians in four districts of Transcarpathia  at an altitude of 180 – 2061 m a.s.l. The access to CBR Wilderness is difficult because of remoteness and lack of developed roads.  Conservation status of the CBR also serves as a guarantee that its wildlife will never be involved in economic use.

The Carpathian mountain system, besides the Alps and the Balkans, is characteristic by the largest biological diversity in the European continent. The intensive usage of nature began in the Ukrainian part of the Carpathians later, than in the Western Carpathians.

Uholka in CBR is the largest peace of beech forest in Carpathian

Uholka in CBR is the largest peace of beech forest in Carpathian

In 1968, with the aim to preserve the unique mountain landscapes, the Ukrainian government has adopted the Resolution on the formation of the Carpathian Reserve, with the area of 12,600 ha. Since 1992 the area became a part of UNESCO, World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Within 30 years of its functioning, the territory of the reserve has been changed several times and today reach 58,035 ha.

Such territorial structure of the CBR represents nearly the whole landscape and biogeographical diversity of the Eastern Carpathian. Practically undisturbed by human activity foothill oak-groves; mountain beech, mixed and spruce forests; subalpine and alpine meadows, formed by pine-alder mossy forest and rocky-lichen landscapes are represented here.

Objective of European Wilderness Preservation System is also to protect old growth beech forest in CBR

Objective of European Wilderness Preservation System is also to protect old growth beech forest in CBR

Almost 90% of the whole reserve’s territory is covered with forests – mainly virgin forests. More than one 1,300 species of high vascular plants, 66 species of mammals, 197 species of birds, 9 reptile species, 14 species of amphibians, 29 fish species, more than 10 000 invertebrate animal species etc. are protected in the Reserve.

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About Author

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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