|Belarus Berezina Biospheric Reserve|
|Tourism in Belarus - Belarus National Parks|
Belarus Berezina Biospheric Reserve (area of 85,149 ha) is located in the north of the republic in the Belarusian Poozerye in the territory of three administrative districts: Lepel, Dokshitsy Districts, Vitebsk Region, and Borisov District, Minsk Region. The administrative and economic centre is located in the settlement of Domzheritsy, Lepel District, Vitebsk Region. It was established in 1925 as one of the three in the former USSR for protection and reproduction of the river beaver almost extirpated by that time, Berezina reserve became known globally as a reference of untouched living nature.
This is a complex of various types of southern taiga forests, marshes, flood-plain meadows, lakes, and rivers. Natural forests is pride of the reserve, occupy over 80% of its total area. Over 56% of area of forest formations is occupied by boreal coniferous, pine, and fir-tree forests. Over half of the area of pineries are referred to marsh types. In fir-tree forests taiga, nemoral, and marsh subformations are distinguished, they form 10.9% of the area covered with forest. Broadleaf forests are located in flood-plain areas in the southern part of the reserve and represented by oak woods and ash woods. Primeval forests and large sphagnous marshes are unique in the reserve. What concerns botanical geography, the reserve territory forms part of the subzone of broadleaf-and-fir-tree (oak-and-dark-coniferous) forests forming 86.5% of its area. The flood plain of the Berezina river which length is over 80 km within the reserve is of scientific value and exceptionally high aesthetic significance. The meandering bed of the river, variety of cut-offs, flood-plain lakes and oak woods, meadow-herbs communities, abundance of birds, amphibians, mammals, especially beavers of aboriginal population, leave a lasting impression on the visitors. Diversity of the reserved nature is added to by 8 interconnected lakes among which Palik occupying the area of 712 ha is the most attractive according to the structure of the species living. The rich flora of the reserve includes over 800 species of higher vascular plants, 216 of mosses, 317 of algae, 463 of mushrooms, 238 of lichens.
The fauna is unique and diverse. Here 56 species of mammals are noted among which the auroch, European brown bear, European lynx, badger, beaver, otter gear. All the carnivorous mammals of the European forest zone are represented. In the Berezina river flood plain migration routes of semi-aquatic birds, sometimes over 10 thousand animal units per day. Among the reserve birds there are 230 species. According to evaluations of experts around with sticky-alder forests, willow bushes, and lowland marshes in degradations are characterised by rich biodiversity. In the south of the park typical Polesye pineries grow on sand knobs, horsebacks, and dunes of the aqueoglacial plain. The flora of the national park is represented by 929 species of higher plants among which there are 22 species of trees and 32 species of bushes, 196 species of mosses, 184 species of nchens, and 321 species of algae. 38 species of plants are on the Red List of the Republic of Belarus. Among them there are such epibiotic species as the mountain arnica, foxfeet, horsetail: very exotic and reducing species as the gar-aid flower, Turk's-cap lily, floating watermoss, European white water-lily, hollow-root, pasque-flower, butterfly orchid, red helleborine, capon's-tail, dark-red helleborine, cowslip paigle etc.
In the territory of the park over 51 species of animals, 7 species of reptilians, 11 species of amphibians, 37 species of fish live, over 250 species of birds were registered. Over 3300 species of invertebrata 46 of which are on the Red List have been detected. Out of the hoofed mammals the elk, European wild hog, "z*z as numerous. Since 1987 reacclimatisation of the auroch is successfully performed, the total number in the territory of the park is 67 animal units. Restoration of the population of the European red deer is successful as well, the number of the deer is over 200 animal units as of today. The natural balance of the animal population is supported by such predators as 70 of those are of exceptional scientific interest for European natural scientists. The fauna is completed by 34 species of fish, 11 of amphibians, 5 of reptilians, over 4,000 species of Invertebrata of which 3,000 are insects. It is hard to find an analogue of protected natural territory with such exceptionally high ecologic value in Central and Eastern Europe.
Rich historical and cultural heritage of the reserve is of significant interest: old graves of Slavs, canals and constructions of the historic waterway from the Baltic to the Black Sea, location of waftage of Napoleonic troops across the Berezina in 1812, monuments of the second world war, the area history museum.
211188, 3 Centralnaya St., Domzheritsy, Lepel District, Vitebsk Region, Belarus, Phone +375 (2132) 26 318