We have been told many times by the foreigners that in summer Ukraine strikes with its greenery. Some people are amazed at Ukraine nature, noting that the birds sing in the downtown of the capital of Ukraine, in Kiev)... When you fly over the territory of Ukraine, an involuntary question arises: what does Ukraine nature look like, are there any special features, national parks and nature reserves, which nature lovers could visit? We will try to convince you that Ukraine nature is unique and inimitable.
Ukrainian nature is praised in many literary works, and it is not surprising. Given the features of the landscape of Ukraine, Ukraine nature is harmonious and beautiful. Mountain groups in the Carpathian Mountains and the Crimea, which occupy 5% of the country’ territory, are not only coniferous and mixed forests with young and age-old plantations. These are also natural areas of Ukraine nature, where even today, as a lot of centuries ago, you can gather mushrooms, berries (mostly cowberries and blueberris) and medicinal plants. Except for the above mentioned there are a lot of streams, where the Dniester and the Prut flow from. These are also small in size, but deep lakes with crystal clear water. The most famous and beautiful of the lakes is the Synevir Lake, which is situated at nearly 1000 meters above sea level and occupies almost 5 hectares. It is considered to be one of the Seven natural wonders of Ukraine. And besides we should mention the mountain meadows. These are mountain glens, covered with colorful blooming carpets of summer herbs. It's a paradise for animals. Among the mammals there are brown bears, wild cats, lynxes, deers, hares, foxes, wolves, martens, otters, badgers and squirrels. Among the birds there are a lot of migratory song birds, black grouses, hazel-hens and woodpeckers, and even black storks, eagles and golden eagles. There are even rare reptiles such as Salamandra terrestris, viviparous lizard and newts. To save the Carpathian mountain landscapes untouched, the Gorgany Nature Reserve and the Carpathian National Reserve were established, where 100 species of invertebrates, 149 species of vertebrates, 47 species of mammals, 103 species of birds, 12 fish species and 9 species of amphibians live.
Ukrainian nature is one of the national heritages of the country. In Ukraine there are 21 nature reserves, 4 of them are biosphere. These are natural territories, where the whole natural complex is under protection. The largest and the most famous of them are Askania-Nova, the Polesie, the Black Sea, the Danube and the Ukrainian steppe reserve.
Askania-Nova is a biosphere reserve established in 1927. It is located in Kherson region and occupies more than 33 thousand hectares. The area consists of 11 thousand hectares of reserve steppe zone, which has never been touched with farming and other production, zoological and dendrological parks. This is the only corner of fescue-feather-grass steppe in Europe, where 478 species of herbs grow. Unlike other reserves, here except for local species of wildlife, the animals from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America live. Here under almost free living conditions zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, bisons, as well as deer and wild horses live. The total number of wild ungulates and hybrid forms, who live on the territory of the reserve, is 800. Askania-Nova is the only territory where the population of Przewalski's horses that disappeared in nature in the 1960s of the 20th century has survived as a species. The most large-scale breeding program of this species of horses is carried out here. By the way, the wild Przewalski's horses now live in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, where they were imported under the pilot reintroduction program in 1998 and managed to survive. Here they live in the real conditions of wildlife without human care.
Ukraine nature also includes 22 national parks, i.e. the territories, where in order to protect nature human activities are limited, but they are open for the tourists. The most famous of them are the Azov-Sivash, Shatsky, Holy Mountains, Galitskiy and Hutsul. For example, the Shatskiy national nature park in Volyn region is a unique gathering of more than 30 lakes between Pripyat and Western Bug rivers. The largest is the Svitiaz, a natural lake of 27.5 km2, which is nourished by the artesian springs and is among the Seven natural wonders of Ukraine. It is sometimes even compared to the sea, because during the storm its waves can reach 1.5 meters.
Among the other Seven natural wonders of Ukraine we have already mentioned a biosphere reserve Askania-Nova, the Synevir Lake in the Carpathians, as well as a picturesque regional landscape park the Granite Steppe Pobuzhzha near the city of Nikolaev, the Dniester canyon in Vinnytsia, which equals in beauty and is often compared to the Alps. This is a marble complex of caves in the Crimea, which has 160 mines, karst caves and wells. The entrance to the main cave, which has the same name “Marble cave”, is located at 920 meters above sea level. Famous speleologists say that it is on the list of five most beautiful equipped caves in the world and even on the list of the International association of equipped caves (Italy). Podolsky Tovtry near Khmelnytsky is a rocky arching range of 400 meters above sea level on average. These are picturesque remnants of coastal reefs that stretch along the ancient coastline and have no analogues in the world.
Besides, speaking of Ukraine nature, it should be noted that there are 29 botanical gardens and parks in Ukraine, where scientists maintain plant species diversity, carry out research, study, cultivate and exhibit plants from around the world and different climatic zones. The main botanical garden in Ukraine is the Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, which is located in the Crimea and belong to the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. It was founded in 1812 by Ukrainian-Russian botanist Christian Steven and is a real paradise in any season. The total area of the botanical gardens is more than one thousand acres. The Nikitsky Botanical Gardens has 30 thousand species, varieties and hybrids of plants that were imported from different continents. It is annually attended by 700,000 visitors from all over the world, nature lovers, scientists and artists.
Other three great botanical gardens of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine are located in Kiev, Donetsk and Krivoy Rog in Dnipropetrovsk region. Smaller ones exist almost under every university of the country.
Sofia Park in Uman is worth to be visited.
It is possible to speak of Ukraine nature without stopping. Here you can enjoy nature for any taste. Forests, prairies, mountains, seas, meadows, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, nature reserves, national parks, gardens, and the above described natural wonders of Ukraine, a great number of species of plants and animals... We are sure that if you want to enjoy the beauty of Ukraine nature, we can suggest you the best.
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