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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Poland / Slovakia / Ukraine


© Photo: Zbigniew Niewiadomski
  General Description   The East Carpathians is a transboundary mountain biosphere reserve with significant value for biodiversity conservation in Central Europe. Within the biosphere reserve, four distinct vegetation types are found: beech forest (Fagetum sylvaticae), beech-fir forest (Fageto-Abietum), dwarf-shrublands with green alder (Alnetum viridis), and a belt of treeless ‘poloniny’ - subalpine meadows dominated by Prata subalpina. The mixed Carpathian forest provides suitable conditions for large mammals such as brown bear (Ursus arctos), European bison (Bison bonasus), lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolf (Canis lupus) and over 100 species of birds live in the area such as the black stork (Ciconia nigra) and the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
This first trilateral biosphere reserve was designated in 1998, uniting the bilateral Polish-Slovak one (designated in 1992) with the Ukrainian part. In order to support the transboundary co-operation, the Foundation for the Eastern Carpathians Biodiversity Conservation (ECBC) was established in 1995.
Population density of the different areas ranges from vast wild spaces on the Polish side to the relatively densely populated Ukrainian side with cultivated valleys, hay meadows, pastures and deciduous forests. Forestry remains the main local economic activity. Agriculture is limited to cattle raising, sheep breeding and small-scale organic farming utilizing traditional land-use patterns. Tourist services are rapidly developing, especially on the Polish side. Sustainable development projects in the biosphere reserve aim especially at the development of sustainable nature-oriented tourism (e.g. in providing training on ecotourism and management skills for local entrepreneurs).
Conservation projects have focused on the management of nature reserves, mountain meadow maintenance and protection, conservation of old monumental trees, river corridors and water ecosystem protection, lowering the impact of tourism on the core area and restoration of historical buildings. A biodiversity conservation project with positive influence on local sustainable tourism development is the reintroduction of the Hutzul horse. Planned reintroduction of the European bison and beaver to the Carpathians could again raise tourist attractiveness and facilitate development of nature-based tourist services.
Future sustainable tourism development will only be successful if all partners implement common tourism services development strategy. Another important task is to establish a common GIS (Geographic Information System) database as a tool to approach the East Carpathians as one coherent natural area in order to facilitate common decisions.
Scientists in the biosphere reserve have unified wildlife inventory methodologies and databases, and share research results during the annual ‘East Carpathian BR conference’.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broad-leaf forest and woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Poland: Carpathian fir-beech and beech forests; mountain fir-spruce forest; poor mountain beech forest; mountain sycamore forest; Carpathian grey alder forest, high mountain woodlands of green alder; alpine "polonina" grassland; high mountain, endemic communities; high mountain herbaceous meadow; mountain herbaceous meadow; humid mountain herbaceous meadow; humid upland and mountain pasture; humid lowland and upland grassland
Slovakia: Beech and fir-beech forest association dominant; oak-hornbeam, mountain sycamore maple and alluvial grey alder associations cover only a small area; mountain meadows above upper forest limit ("poloniny") and valley meadows; river ecosystems; water reservoir Starina (artificial)
Ukraine: Mountain landscape characterized by deciduous (Fagetum, Acereto-Fagetum) and conifer (Abietum albae, Piceetum abietis) forests with species such as beech (Fagus sylvatica), sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) and oak (Quercus petraea); sub-alpine meadows ("poloninas") characterized by Nardus stricta, Deschampsia caespitosa and Festuca rubra; terraces along rivers (for example the Uzh river) with Alnus glutinosa, A. incana, Salix alba and S. purpurea; secondary meadows and pastures on former forest spots with dominating species such as Deschamsia caespitosa, Festuca rubra and Agrostis vulgaris
  Location   Poland: 49°00' to 49°22'N; 22°02' to 22°54'E
Slovakia: 48°56' to 49°11'N; 22°09' to 22°34'E
Ukraine: ("Uzhans’ki") 48°53’ to 49°05'N; 22°27’ to 22°54'E
("Nadsans’ki") 49°00' to 49°15'N; 22°41' to 23°00'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   213,211
  Core area(s)   24,130 (Pol: 18,425; Slov: 2,643; Ukr: 3,062)
  Buffer zone(s)   33,310 (Pol: 10,776; Slov: 14,373; Ukr: 8,161)
  Transition area(s) when given   155,771 (Pol: 84,645; Slov: 23,762; Ukr: 47,364)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   Poland: +420 to +1,346 Slovakia: +210 to +1,208 Ukraine: +226 to +1,251
  Year designated   1998
  Administrative authorities   Poland: Bieszczady National Park in Ustrzyki Gorne Administration of the Carpathian Landscape Parks in Krosno Slovakia: Administration of Poloniny National Park in Snina, which reports to: State Nature Conservancy, and Ministry of the Environment, (informed being also National MAB Committee of the Slovak Republic) Ukraine: Direction of National Nature Park "Uzhans’ki", Regionalniy landshaphtniy park "Nadsans’ki"; National Nature Parks and Protected Areas Administration in Kyiv
  Brief description   Inventories of animals and plants (Poland, Slovakia,Ukraine)
Agricultural research (Poland, Slovakia)
Effects of pollutants (Poland, Slovakia)
Limnology (Slovakia)
Research of some groups of invertebrata, for example Tardigrada, Araneida (spiders), Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Orthoptera (Slovakia)
Management and monitoring of meadows (Slovakia)
Ornitocenoses of forest associations (Slovakia)
Dynamics of primeval forests (Slovakia)
GIS database (Slovakia)
Indicators of sustainability relevant to economic activities: (Slovakia)
Occurrence of certain species such as Parmelia caperata (Lichenes), Reynoutria japonica (expansive plant), Astacus astacus (crayfish), Lutra lutra (otter)
Community structure of vegetation cover and human-caused changes (Ukraine)
Research on threatened and/or endangered lichen species supported by the Darwin Initiative (Ukraine)
Species composition of bryoflora (Ukraine)
Process of privatization of land property (Ukraine)
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Hydrology, pollution, pollutants.
  Biodiversity   Birds, community studies/communities, fauna, forest systems, invertebrates/insects/spiders, lichens, mammals, methodologies, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, species inventorying/inventory, temperate grassland, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, indicators of sustainability.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, land tenure, management issues, mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Miroslav Bural
Administration of National Park Poloniny
ul. Mieru 193
067 01 Stakcín
  Telephone   (421.57) 7624 424
(421.57) 7685 615
  Fax   (421.57) 7685 615
  Web site biosfera/brmabvku.htm
  Contact address   Fedir Hamor
Carpathian Biosphere Reserve
77, Krasne Pleso Str.
90600 Rakhiv, Transcarpathian reg.
  Telephone   (38) 31322193
  Fax   (38) 313222659
  Contact address    
Administration of Regional Landscape Park "Nadsans'ki"

292840 Borynia, Lviv Region
  Telephone   (380) 3269 41672
  Contact address   Zbigniew Niewiadomski
East Carpathians Biosphere Reserve
Wolosate 12/2
38-714 Ustrzyki Gorne
  Contact address   Victoria Hubko
Carpathian Biosphere Reserve
77, Krasne Pleso Str.
90600 Rakhiv, Transcarpathian reg.
  Telephone   (38) 313222193
  Fax   (38) 313222659
  Contact address   Jozef Repka
Poloniny National Park, East Carpathians Biosphere Reserve
Ulica Mieru 193
067 61 Stakcin
  Telephone   (421. 57) 768 5615

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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