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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Pribuzhskoye-Polesie Biosphere Reserve lies in the West Bug Valley, in the vast wetland transborder region of Polesie, encompassing diverse natural and cultural communities. It features pine forests, bogs, meadows, dunes, highland moors, transitional mires and extremely rare floodplain forests as well as aquatic landscapes. It complements the adjacent West Polesie Biosphere Reserve in Poland and the Shatsky Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine, with which it is planned to establish one transboundary biosphere reserve.

The main objectives of the Biosphere Reserve are to conserve the natural environment, enrich the biological and landscape diversity, and to conserve the traditional economic uses in less disturbed areas. A long history of natural resource use has led to the formation of distinct nature-anthropogenic ecosystems that host rich biodiversity, including species that are registered in no other areas of Belarus, such as stonechat (Saxicola torquata), grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus), Brandt's bat (Myotis brandtii) and wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi). Populations of rare species such as the old world swallowtail (Papilio machaon), the common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) and the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) are also present.

Large massifs of spruce forests are located in the northern parts of the biosphere reserve. The Pozhezhenski and Myadnenski spruce forests have the status of natural monuments and include a Carpathian spruce fir species (Picea abies f. acuminata). These are the best-conserved spruce forests in the country (related to age, quality index, composition, etc.) that have no counterparts in the Shatsky Biosphere Reserve or in the adjacent Polesie Biosphere Reserve. There are large massifs of floodplain European alder forests (Alnus glutinosa) with black poplar (Populus nigra) and the floodplain of the West Bug River, which has the largest and most valuable Belarussian floodplain of willow groves with white willow (Salix alba) that is inhabited by beavers. In the eastern part of the biosphere reserve there is a bog where the globally endangered aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) finds refuge.

The Biosphere Reserve has different levels of protection for the different zones in accordance with Belarus law. Pribuzhskoye-Polesie Biosphere Reserve is a boundary area for various cultures and the residence for many ethnic communities of various religions. More than 8,000 people live in the region on a permanent basis. Three Eastern European communities - Belarussians, Ukrainians and Russians - as well as a Western European Polish group are represented in the population. Agriculture (crop cultivation and animal husbandry) employs nearly half of the economically active population of the area.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Riverine ecosystems (the Bug River, its tributary and other small rivers and brooks), as well as lakes, bayou lakes, and river backwaters characterized by shore Atlantic grass populations of Honkenyo-Elymetea arenarii and populations of aquatic plants (Lemnetea (minoris)); Bogs with Phragmito-Magnocaricetea, bog grass communities belonging mainly to the associations of Typhetum angustifoliae and acidophilic communities of grass bogs with Scheuchzerio-Caricetea fuscae; forests (European alder forests with Alnetea glutinosae, Querco-Fagetea (silvaticae) Quercetea roboris associations, terrace, slope, and floodplain oak forests, elm grove associations (Ulmus glabra, U. laevis, U. carpinifolia, U. suberosa), plain linden groves with Tilia cordata, associations with hornbeam, association of boreal coniferous (pine) forests, and pine forests with Rubus saxatilis); Grass associations - meadows with grass associations of rich flooded soils (Festuco-Puccinellietea), associations of wet and native meadows (Molinio-Arrhenatheretea) and xerothermic (steppe) meadow associations (Festuco-Brometea (erecti)); Associations of bushes with Salicetea purpurea?; Ruderal anthropogenic associations of disturbed land - waste grounds, long-fallow lands, etc.
  Location   51º43'43"N; 23º39'16"E (Central point)
51º57'00"N; 23º51'56"E (Northern extremity)
51º54'28"N; 23º55'18"E (Eastern extremity)
51º29'58"N; 23º40'30"E (Southern extremity)
51º43'47"N; 23º31'45"E (Western extremity)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   48,024
  Core area(s)   4,367
  Buffer zone(s)   25,337
  Transition area(s) when given   18,320
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +142.3 to +182.6
  Year designated   2004
  Administrative authorities   State Institution “Pribuzhskoye Polesie Landscape Zakaznik”, Brest and Malorita District Executive Committees
  Brief description   The following factors determined the zonation of the biosphere reserve: availability and distribution of near-natural and valuable ecosystems and specific animal and plant species, landscape and biological diversity, territorial differences according to restrictions of economic uses of land and other natural resources, traditional land use practices and intensity, development and location of industrial and transport infrastructure, health care and tourism facilities. The zonation reflects the natural differentiation of the territory and the different conservation measures needed. The core area comprises sites with the most valuable ecosystems with a highly restrictive natural resource use. The buffer zone includes the least disturbed natural landscapes for which no alterations or intensification of conventional land use are stipulated. The transition area consists of land required to ensure sustainable, intensive and environmentally friendly development.

Mammal fauna monitoring including use of ultrasonic detectors, electronic-metric equipment, and long-term animal marking methods; Ecological and fauna data-base of south-western Belarus; Monitoring of dynamics of floral and faunal species significant for conservation and of endoparasite invasion phenomena and fragmentation of vertebrate and vascular plant habitats; Folklore and ethnographic expeditions; Regular monitoring of sanitary and economic situation in the region; Conceptual studies on possibilities international transboundary ecological network optimization.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Habitat.
  Biodiversity   Conservation, ecology, fauna, flora, mammals, monitoring/methodologies, pests/diseases, plants.
  Socio-economic   Cultural aspects, human health, livelihood measures, monitoring methodologies, social/socio-economic aspects, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Transboundary/Transfrontiers.
  Contact address   Konstantin Krasovsky
State Institution
Borisy Village, Brestskaya Str., 45
225 008 Brest district, Brest region
  Telephone   (375.162) 43 67 36

Last updated: 03/04/2006

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