Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code BY940002)
  • Since 1997
  • Country: Belarus
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 883 km2 (88300.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Manager President's Affairs Management Department of the Republic of Belarus 220016 Karl Marx Street, 38, Minsk, Belarus Fax: +375-172-200 696
Information Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park Kamenyuki, Kamenets District, Brest Region 225 063, Belarus
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General character of the site The 1250 km² Pushcha in Belarus and Poland is the last remnant of the vast lowland mixed forest in Europe. BP presents a view on the fauna and processes of the original forests. Over 50% of the forest is in old growth (100 years and more) in natural conditions, with some trees of 600 years old. Following features characterise the BP: effective long-term nature conservation, high diversity and significance as a research site due to its location on the transition zone between West-European mixed hardwood and Eastern Taiga ecosystems. 
Quality 1. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is among the most unique sites in Europe, the last remnant of the vast lowland broadleaf European forests which covered all Europe in ancient times, an important zone of biodiversity and endemism, a fundamental source of biogenetic resources.2. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is inhabited by such rare mammals as European Bison, lynx, wolf and also, still possesses 16 species of lichens, 7 fungi, 4 mosses, 38 higher plants, 5 mammals, 34 birds, 2 reptiles, 1 amphibian, 2 fishes, 6 insects listed in the Belarus Red Data Book (rare, endangered and threatened species)3. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is an excellent natural laboratory, with more than 50 years of well documented scientific monitoring activities on flora and fauna. A cohort of famous scientists from the Park Scientific Department and other Republican Institutions were involved and, in part, are still carrying out investigations in the Park.4. The managenment of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park strives to strengthen and maintain fruitful relations with the entities of the Biogenetic reserves and the European Diploma Sites network 
Vulnerability -Forestry (use of dead wood), repercussion - favourable-Agriculture (only small part of the park), repercussion - adverse 
Owner State 
Documentation -Scientific Department Staff: 25-Museum of Nature: 700 exhibits-Herbarium: 4.700 units 
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Geomorphology Geomorphologically, Belovezhskaya Pushcha comes under the Province of Pre-Polessie Plains, namely the Narevo-Yaseldskoye Water-Glacial Plains joining the Pre-Bug Moraine Plain. Within the Pushcha territory the bedrock extends down from the north to the south from 400 to 900 m of sea-level and is considered the northern periphery of the Brest Depression. The modern relief resulted from the retreat of the Moscow Glacier Sheet, with a terminal moraine ridge of 20-30 m relative height. The most elevated is the central part, with the Belovezhskaya Ridge in the south-west. Minimum elevation there is 145-148 m over sea-level, maximum is 202 m. 
Educational interest Belovezhskaya Pushcha has retained several giant-trees, which include a pine (350 years old, about 35 m high), a spruce (200 years old, about 52 m high), and an oak (500 years old, 190 cm high). There are other registered specimens of biological interest - a "collar" pine, a weeping variety of spruce, accrete brother-oaks, locations with silver fir, and durmast oak.The National Park has a Nature Museum with multiple displays, fenced outdoor enclosures with assorted animals, comfortable hotels, and well-appointed tourist routes. Guests to the park could also partake of various (on-foot, horse- and car-riding) one-day routes, as well as longer trips over several days.In the administrative centre of the Park (village Kameniuki) in 1996, secondary school was transformed into ecological college. At present, at the base of dacha of Count Tishkevich in the northern part of the Park an international educational centre is under organisation. 
Cultural heritage 20 km from Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is the town of Kamenets, found in the thirtheenth century by the Russian Prince Vladimir Volynsky. The town has a watch-tower (Belaya Wezha); this tower may have given its name to Belovezskaya Pushcha region. The Belovezhskaya Forest is crossed by a "Czar Road", going east to west. The Czar traveled it to reach the Belowezha Settlement. Ancient bridges with open-work railings have been kept intact, except for the eagles - the National Emblem of the former Russian Empire. Almost in the centre of the Pushcha, near the small village of Viskuli, an attractive palace was built to house the leaders of the former USSR, and now those of Belarus. In 1991, the well-known "Belovezha agreement" declaring the desintegration of the Soviet Union and proclamation of independent republics was signed here. 
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100