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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Belarus

BELOVEZHSKAYA PUSCHCHA

 
       
  General Description   Straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, this forest complex is one of the last remnants of primary mixed forests in Europe. Situated in the transition between the boreal and temperate zones, the biosphere reserve contains several tree species at the limit of their distribution. Norway spruce (Picea abies) reaches its southern limits of its northern range and the sessile oak (Quercus petraea) is here at its northeastern limit. Notable mammal species include European bison (Bison bonasus), wolf (Canis lupus) and lynx (Felis lynx). The area is also designated as transboundary World Heritage site and lies adjacent to the Bialowieza Biosphere Reserve in Poland.
About 4,000 people live in the biosphere reserve (1993) who are engaged in agriculture, forestry, forest protection as well as in services. A nature museum provides environmental education to visitors of the area. The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park was subject to a transboundary Forest Biodiversity Protection Project funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) between 1992 and 1996. The project aimed at supporting research culminating in land use plans, introduced a Geographical Information System (GIS) and involving local people in the management and benefits of the area.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coniferous forest characterized by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies) and oak (Quercus robur); deciduous broadleaf forest dominated by Quercus robur, ash (Fraxinus excelsior), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and sycamore (Acer platanoides); alder-birch forest with Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula and B. pubescens; agroecosystems with potatoes, rye, oat and wheat; forestry ecosystems with pine, spruce, oak etc.
  Location   5230' to 5259'N; 2335' to 2420'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   191,300
  Core area(s)   15,700
  Buffer zone(s)   85,600
  Transition area(s) when given   90,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +145 to +202
  Year designated   1993
  Administrative authorities   Direction of the State National Park, reporting to the President of the Republic of Belarus Administration


Last updated: 3/7/2005

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