The Ukrainian Carpathians are among the most well-preserved European landscapes. Large contiguous forest tracts and probably the most well-preserved beech primary forest in the world (Uholka-Shirokii Luh, over 10,000 ha) have persisted, largely due to long-term inaccessibility. In 2008, the first mapping of primary forests revealed 123 tracts covering an overall area of 38,672 hectares.1 Current WWF data suggests there is more than 85,000 ha of primary forests in Ukrainian territory. However, the final number will likely be higher; the mapping of some areas has not been completed.2 The majority (54,000 hectares) of Ukrainian primary forests are located in the Carpathian region. Protection of forests were initiated in 1933 when 12 locations of Transcarpathian Ukraine (part of Czechoslovakia at the time), either in part or their entirety, were declared as reservations.1 More than 27,000 ha are included in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage UNESCO under the title of “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”.3
Deforestation of mountain areas in Ukraine have become more apparent recently, and a similar trend might be found in other Carpathian regions also. Unprotected primary forests, often large forest tracts located outside the protected areas, that have recently been mapped are quickly logged. The “Carpathian Convention”, signed by Ukrainian Petro Poroshenko in September 2017, might help address the problém and provide effective protection of primary forests in the future. There are permanent research areas in Ukrainian territory in multiple localities of the beech primary forests in the Gorgany Mountains.
List of our research sites:
|1.||Gorgany Mountains||Plistse (old name: Grofa 1)|
|2.||Gorgany Mountains||Parenky (old name: Grofa 2)|
|3.||Gorgany Mountains||Lopysna (old name: Syvulya1 )|
|4.||Gorgany Mountains||Nehrova (old name: Syvulya2)|
|5.||Gorgany Mountains||Plajska (old name: Syvulya3)|