Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park – Home to Red List of Ukraine Plant Species

When you visit Ukraine you will find that there are a large number of national parks and nature reserves worth visiting. Deciding which national park in Ukraine to visit may be somewhat difficult since there are so many to choose from. Each natural area has been carefully selected because of its unique ecological features so you will find that there is quite a difference from one national park to the next. The Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park is a combination of two different vegetation zones. This gives the park added significance and makes a visit all that much more interesting.

One of many relatively new national parks in Ukraine, the Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park was founded in 1999. The park is part of a Ukrainian-Russian biosphere reserve that incorporates both the Old Rus’ and the Bryansk Forests. Thus there are two different plant groups which can be found in the national park. The first is the Prydesnyans’ka plant group. It is named for the Desna river near which it is located and the name Prysdesnyanska can be translated as ‘near Desna’. This vegetation zone is characterized by riparian (river bank) floodplain vegetation which is fed by the Desna river and its many tributaries. The floodplain vegetation is interspersed by large patches of forest. The second vegetation zone is the Staroguts’ka vegetation zone. This is characterized mainly by fairly old pine forests with large quantities of sphagnum moss – the moss variety which is used to form peat and which is sometimes even used for packaging purposes. This vegetation zone also has a lot of boggy areas.

As you can imagine, the Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park in Ukraine has hundreds of different plant and animal species living within its boundaries. There are roughly 700 different varieties of vascular plants in the park. As many as eighteen of these plants are endangered and are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. In addition to endangered plant species, there are 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of fish and 24 species of mammals in Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park which are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine and enjoy special protection. Clearly this great national park serves to protect and preserve several very important habitats. So visit the Desnyano-Starogutskyi National Park and discover this unique and wonderful wetland for yourself.

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