Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code UA940001)
  • Since 1997
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 579 km2 (57880.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Manager MHamor Fedir Dmytrovych - director of the Carpathian biopshere reserve 295800, Ukraine, Transcarpathian region, Rakhiv, P.O. Box - 8, Carpathian Biosphere Reserve Tel.: (03132)22054 Fax: (0313222054)
Information Information Centre 295800, Ukraine, Transcarpathian region, Rakhiv, P.O. Box - 8, Carpathian Biosphere Reserve Tel.: (03132)22054 Fax: (0313222054)
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General character of the site The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR), with the total area of 57880 ha, represents nearly the whole landscape and biogeographical diversity of the Ukrainian part of the Eastern Carpathians. The reserve consists of six detached massifs and a regional landscape park "Stuzhytsa", botanical preserves of national significance "Chorna Hora" and "Yulivska Hora". The 
Quality The Carpathian reserve was established in 1968 (reserve/zapovidnyk/ - the highest, for that period, category (form) of the territorial nature protection in the former U.S.S.R.) to protect and conserve the unique and typical sites of wild nature, with all its components, in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Besides conservation of the natural complexes, first of all, virgin forests - a very important task was also conservation of the local flora and fauna, in particular, rare species. The principle of total refusal from any economic activity in the attached territories of the reserve was laid in the basis of conservation. Besides the natural complexes conservation, the main tasks of the reserve included initiation and conduction of the complex scientific researches, long-term ecological monitoring and ecological-educational activity among the residents and tourists.In 1992, the Carpathian biosphere reserve got the status of biosphere reserve, which has determined a number of new objectives. According to the general concept of biosphere reserves, it serves to protect genetic resources, ecosystems and landscapes, which are typical for the corresponding biogeographical zone. Beside this, activity of the Carpathian biosphere reserve is directed towards the long-term ecological, economic and social development of the region, and also conservation of its cultural and historical heritage. 
Vulnerability In the territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve, any economic activity is forbidden within the reserve / core/ zone (zone A), therefore the anthropogenic impact here is almost absent. In the territories, which are included or are planned to include in the buffer zone and zone of the anthropogenic landscapes (accordingly zones B and C), the agricultural and forestry nature use are practised today, sometimes intensive. The most spread form of agricultural use of the upland meadows is stock-breeding, the basis of which sheep-breeding. Agriculture and gardening are spread beyond the borders of the reserve - in the vicinities of the Kuziyskiy massif, in the plain of the "Valley of Narcissi" and botanical preserves. The cleaning and final cuttings are conducted in the adjacent to the reserve mountain forests. The certain types of forest use are preserved (with the exception of final cuttings) in some sites of the reserve, within zones B and C.The popular tourist routes, which are notable for their popularity and, accordingly, great recreational pressure on the adjacent areas, run along the border or sometimes even across the territory of the Chornohirskiy and Svydovetskiy massifs. It concerns also the botanical preserve "Chorna Hora", which is the place of the mass holiday-making of the residents.Thus, the main anthropogenic problems of the Carpathian biosphere reserve are connected with the forest- and agricultural activity and non-organised recreation both in the territory of zones B and C, and on its outlying area, and also with the running of the gas pipe-line promotes the erosion of soil on the slopes.The industrial production is concentrated in large settlements, mainly in the district centres, from which, the protected massifs are located at the considerable distance - 30-50 km. As an exception are the "Valley of Narcissi" (5 km from the large industrial centre, the town of Khust), Kuziyskiy massif (10 km from the settlement Velykiy Buchkiv, where the chemical industry is located) and the botanical preserve "Chorna Hora" (vicinities of the district centre, the town of Vynohradiv). The transport junction in the vicinities of the reserve is not well-developed. As an exception are the Kuziyskiy massif, the "Valley of Narcissi", and also the botanical preserve "Chorna Hora", by which lie the motorways of national significance, with the heavy traffic. Thus, negative impact of the anthropogenic factor on natural complexes of the reserve is also felt through the atmosphere, but this problem needs further study in the reserve. 
Owner The whole territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve is national property (ownership of the people of Ukraine). 
Documentation -Act of Ukraine on nature-protected fund (Kyiv, 16.06.1992, N° 2456 -XII)-Biodiversity of the Carpathian biosphere reserve (1997), Kyiv : Interecocentre, 7126 p.-Carpathian reserve - Uzhhorod: Karpaty, 1982, 176 p.-Edict of the President of Ukraine "On the expansion of territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve", of 11 April, 1997, N° 325/97-Geographical encyclopedia of Ukraine - Kyiv, "Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia", 1990 - vol. 2 - 480 p.-Gvozdetskiy, N.A., Golubchikin, Y.N.(1987), Mountains - Moscow, Mys'l, 399 p.-Hamor, F.D., Voloschuk, I.I., Parubochiy, M.V., Pokynchereda, V.F., Kalko, O.P. (1997), Town in the geographical centre of Europe, Rakhiv, 54 p.-Hamor, F.D., Pokynchereda, V.F. (1997), Carpathian biosphere reserve and development problems of tourism and recreation in Transcarpathia // Development of the tourism-recreatonal complex of Transcarpathia: ways and prospects. Proceedings of the scientific-practical conference, Uzhhorod, p. 138-147-Litopys pryrody /Chronicle of Nature/ of the Carpathian biosphere reserve - vol. 1-20, 1977-1997-Nature protection of the Ukrainian Carpathians and adjacent territories - Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1980, 264 p.-Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian S.S.R. of November 12, 1968, N° 568 on the establishment of the Carpathian State Reserve.-Statut on the Carpathian biosphere reserve, of 31 June, 1997-Stoiko, S.M. (1973), Carpathian reserve - problems and prospects // On nature protection of the Carpathians, Uzhhorod: Karpaty, p. 5-18-Stoiko, S., Hadach, E., Shymon, T., Mykhalyk, S. (1991), Protected ecosystems of the Carpathians, Lviv: publishing house "Svit", 248 p.-Holubets, M.A., Havrusevych, A.N., Zahaikevych, I.K. et al. (1988), Ukrainian Carpathians, Nature, Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 208 p.-Zahorodnyuk, I., Pokynhereda, V., Kyselyuk, O., Dovhanych, Y. (1997), Terriofauna of the Carpathian biosphere reserve// Herald of zoology, suppl. N 5, 60 p.-Zagorodniuk, B., Godovanets, V., Pokynchereda, A., Kyseliuk (1995), Taxonomic diversity of birds and mammals in the Carpathian biosphere reserve: a comparison of previous and new data // Methods of monitoring of the nature in the Carpathian National Parks and Protected Areas, International Conference of the Association of Carpathian National Parks and Protected Areas, Rachiv, p. 119-130 
Habitat types  
Potential vegetation  
Geomorphology The Ukrainian part of the Eastern Carpathians, like the whole Carpathian arch, is attributed to the Alpine geosynclinal belt. The mountains form part of the northern branch of the Alpine folded region. The composite folded-cover structures, which form the mountains, have appeared, mainly, as a result of the Cainozoic (Alpine) folding. There are two main tectonic zones in the Carpathians - the External flysch Carpathians and the Internal lime-crystalline-volcanic Carpathians, edged with the Pre-Carpathian marginal trough and Transcarpathian internal trough. The Ukrainian Carpathians are mainly the External Carpathians, since the second zone is deeply descended and concealed under the neogene sediments. Some native geomorphologists refer to the Internal Carpathians, within the whole territory of Ukraine, only the Marmaroska zone. The natural boundary-line between the External Carpathians and Transcarpathian trough is the Pennine zone. In geological structure of the territory of Ukraine prevail the layers of lime and palaeogene flysch - sandstones, siltstones and mudstones; here and there, occur the outlets of the Jurassic limestones (Pennine or Strimchakova/Cliff/zone) and palaeozoic crystalline schists (Marmaroska zone). The volcanogenic formations are represented by andesites, basalts and tuffs (the Volcanic Carpathians).The Ukrainian Carpathians are middle altitudinal mountains, and do not reach the snow-line. The most raised parts of the summit's cover are typical for Chornohora (2061 m), Marmaroskiy crystalline massif (1946 m), Svydovets (1883 m), Horhany (1836 m). The present-day relief was formed owing to the uneven latest raises (in Pliocene - Quaternary Age) and the erosional breaking up. The smaller resistance of the flysch rocks against denudation - the reason of typical for the Carpathians smoothed relief forms. The hardness and durability of the crystalline rocks of the Marmaroskiy massif have determined the strongly breaked up relief of this territory with the deep gorges, sharp ridges and summits. The traces of pleistocene icing - kars, glacial cirques, trough valleys and moraine are represented in Chornohora, Svydovets and Marmarosh. The Pennine zone is characterized by numerous rocky outlest of limestones and dolomites of the Trias, Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous Ages in a form of isolated cliffs. The karst phenomena is well marked in this zone, especially its underground forms - caves, pits, grottos.The Carpathian biosphere reserve is located on the south-western megaslope of the Eastern Carpathians' Ukrainian segment. Most of the protected massifs are located in the folded region, mainly in zone of the External (flysch) Carpathians (Chornohirskiy, Svydovetskiy, partly Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskiy massifs).Only the "Valley of Narcissi" massif and botanical preserves "Chorna Hora" and Yulivska Hora" are located outside the zone of the folded Carpathians - in the region of Transcarpathian internal trough (Khustsko-Solotvynska hollow and the Volcanic Carpathians). 
Educational interest The environmental education of the local population is one of the priority objectives of the biosphere reserves. In the Carpathian biosphere reserve, much attention is paid just to this activity. The reserve was one of the first, among the former U.S.S.R. reserves, where a group of staff was formed, to deal with the questions of environmental education and training of the population.The main objectives of the ecological-educational activity of the reserve are: explanation of the unique of the Carpathian biosphere reserve and its significance for the conservation and maintenance of the environmental balance in the region; raising of general ecological-educational standard of the local population; informing the population on the real ecological situation in the region; formation of friendly attitude of the local population towards the reserve and its activity.Special methods of ecological propagation, taking into account social peculiarities of the population, are practised in the Carpathian reserve. It was determined the specific groups of population, which need non-traditional forms and methods of work. They are: inhabitants of the territories, bordering on the protected massifs; population of this land, in general; visitors of the region - tourists, holiday-makers, etc..Another specific group is youth, among which the ecological-educational activity is very necessary.The most efficient is the environmental-training and informative activity through the mass media in regard to the territorial and quantitative embrace of the population. The reserve has good contacts with the seperate district and regional newspapers, where the materials aimed on nature protection are regulary published. In 1994, the Carpathian biosphere reserve began to publish all-Ukrainian ecological scientific-popular magazine "Green Carpathians", the subjects of which include wide range of issues - from ecological problems of the present day to the historical and cultural heritage of the Carpathian land. Nature and activity of the reserve are reflected in numerous scientific-popular video- and films, books, booklets, postcards, envelopes, badges, etc..The reserve also co-operates with the Ukrainian environmental television. Several video-stories and a video-film about the Carpathian biosphere reserve were prepared for the ether by combined efforts.In the administrative centre of the reserve, in the town of Rakhiv, the Information Centre was established for visitors, which includes the display on nature of the Carpathian biosphere reserve, lecture and display hall, library, ecological trail. The Museum of Mountains Ecology and History of Nature Use of the Ukrainian Carpathians is under construction now, in the area of more than 1000 m² which will include 2 thematic sections. The first one will represent the history, geology, geomorphology of the Carpathian mountain system, typical Carpathian landscapes and their components. The second one is dedicated to the history and problems of nature use in the Ukrainian Carpathians - from the beginning of settling to the present day. The construction of the Information Centre is also conducted in the famous "Valley of Narcissi", where thousands of visitors come annually. The establishment of the Information Centre and ecological scientific-cognitive routes is envisaged also in other protected massifs.The reserve gives much attention to the environmental education and training of youth. It has good contacts with many schools of the region, in particular of Rakhivschyna, where the thematic lessons are held regularly. The published output, materials for the mass media, displays for the Information Centres are prepared with the orientation on the rising generation. Youth actively participates in the nature-protective actions, organized by the Carpathian biosphere reserve. For the period of more than ten years, the reserve anually organizes ecological tent camps for young people. The camps, initiated as regional camps, have gained, for the last years, a status of the all-Ukrainian ("Oikos") and have all preconditions to become international camps. 
Cultural heritage In the region of the Carpathian biosphere reserve's location live several ethnic groups of the Ukrainian mountain-dwellers - Hutsuls, Lemki and others. They are notable for their original culture, formed to a great degree, under the influence of severe mountainous conditions. Owing to this, the specific system of nature usage was formed, the separate elements of which have no analogues. Here, in particular, is preserved the unique for the Europe centre of the upland milky sheep-breeding and other trades, connected with it. The mountain meadows-pastures, already in VI-IX centuries were used by residents for cattle grazing. The residents especially appreciated sheep, since they got all necessary from it: milk, cheese, brynza (sheep's milk cheese - a specific milky product), wool, etc.. The distant form of cattle pasturing, when cattle is taken to the distant pastures, and is kept there till autumn, has become perfect in the mountainous cattle-breeding of the Carpathians, especially in Hutsulschyna. The existance of the specific pasture economy, which was characterized and has preserved, to some extent, many archaic features, is connected with it. All types of work, connected with it, are always based in the ancient rites, which have partly preserved their before-Christian essence. A special spectacle represents the spring sending of the cattle to grass in the mountain pastures, so called pasture procession, taking place with a special festivity and firmly established ceremony.The functional zoning of the reserve's territory promotes to combine the tasks of nature protection with other interests, in particular, conservation of the cultural heritage.The traditional upland pastures with all necessary attributes - dwellings, economic facilities, sheep-folds, etc. are located in zone C of the Carpathian biosphere reserve. The policy of the Carpathian biosphere reserve lies in conservation and maintenance of the national traditions and, at the same time, in stimulation of the economical use of nature in this territory.Worthy of note are also other cultural national properties of the Ukrainian mountain-dwellers - interesting wooden architecture, various folk crafts (wood carving, embroidery, etc.), folk-lore and many other things.Another notable cultural site of the Carpathian biosphere reserve is the late-palaeolithic site of primitive man, found in the karst cave "Molochniy kamin" in the territory of the Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskiy massif. 
Justification The Carpathian biosphere reserve plays an important role in the protection of landscape and biological diversity of our continent, and also of its cultural heritage. The Carpathian mountain system, besides the Alps and the Balkans, is characterized 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 other regions of Europe. Owing to this, considerable areas of wild nature were preserved here. Today, 57880 ha of the region's territory is under the protection of the Carpathian biosphere reserve, which from 1992 is part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO. Almost 90% of the whole reserve's territory are covered with forests - mainly virgin forests. Strictly speaking, the virgin forests of the reserve (oak-beech, beech, beech-fir, beech-fir-spruce and spruce) represent the greatest European interest. Here, in considerable areas, besides the forest climax communities, are represented the less disturbed native phytocenoses, in the subalpine and alpine - elfin woodland and upland meadows. In the protected massif "Valley of Narcissi" - a unique flat population of narcissus angustifoliate (Narcissus angustifolius), the Middle European high mountain species, which is spread in the Alpes, the Balkans and the Carpathians at an altitude of 1100-2060 m - is protected. Its population in this flat locality is preserved from the postglacial period and has a relict character.The reserve, besides phytocenotic interest, represents great European interest in the floristic and faunistic aspects, as a conservation centre for the large amount of relict, endemic and rare plant and animal species. Flora of the Carpathian biosphere reserve numbers 40 endemic and 64 rare species, entered into the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Flora of the reserve numbers more than 100 endemic animal species and, at least two of them, are known only for the protected area. In general, 72 species of animals, entered into the Red Data Book of the IUCN and Ukraine (1994), and the European Red List (1991) are protected here.The territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve represents a special interest for the preservation of cultural heritage of the Ukrainian mountain-dwellers - Hutsuls, Boiky and Lemki. One of the European scanty centres of the upland milky sheep-breeding, and other trades and traditions, connected with it - is preserved in the region of the reserve's location. 
Methodology Most of the information, given above, was compiled, as a result of study of the numerous scientific publications and non-published reports of the scientific researches, both of the reserve's specialists and other organizations; official (governmental) and legislative documents, reffering to this institution; direct inventory of nature in the reserve's territory and acquaintance with the organization and management plans of the Carpathian biosphere reserve.The unique virgin forests, protected in the territory of the Carpathian biosphere reserve, occupy the largest areas, at least for the western, southern and central regions of Europe. They are of great scientific, nature protection and practical significance in the pan-European scale. The natural phytocenoses are very important for the determination of the plant cover deverlopment history of our continent in the postglacial period. Their study is a precondition for the conduction of forest economy on natural grounds, since they can serve as standards for the formation of biologically stable and highly-productive forest communities. The virgin forests carry out significant climate- and water-regulation functions, which is of special importance for the region, where the headwaters of the Tysa river - the largest tributary of the Danube river - are located.The virgin forests, besides other natural complexes of this territory, serve the centres of biological diversity conservation of the region. It concerns, in particular, a number of endemic species (great riches of them in the Carpathians), and rare species of the all-European scale.In the region of the reserve's location live several ethnic groups of the Ukrainian mountain-dwellers, characterized by their original culture. The traditional use of nature of the mountain-dwellers is based on the grounds of rational usage of the local resources, which could become a basis for the region transition in regard to the model of the sustainable development. Today, the separate elemants of the local use of nature, for example, the upland milky sheep-breeding, represent the unique character for Europe. 
Budget The annual budget of the Carpathian biosphere reserve constitutes nearly 525.000 US $, including the annual fund - 470 US $.The staff of the Carpathian biosphere reserve constitutes, in general, 263 persons, including:-Engineering and technical staff, and office workers - 33 persons;-Workers of the scientific department - 18;-Workers of the information centre - 5;-Workers of the service for the protection of the reserve's territory - 103;-Supplementary staff (others) - 104 persons 
Management plan The activity of the Carpathian biosphere reserve is conducted according to the act "On nature-protected fund of Ukraine" and includes three main directions: conservation of the natural complexes and objects on their territory; conduction of the ecological researches and monitoring on the condition of natural environment and; spreading of the environmental knowledge. 
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