Karadag Reserve – Complete with Varied Landscapes and Significant Ecosystems
The Karadag Reserve lies amid two cities known as Feodosia and Sudak, which are situated on a piece of the Crimean peninsula on the south-east coast. It is here that a breathtaking abundance of unique and historical geology can be found in the only solitary rocky shoreline massif of the Jurassic period, of about 150 – 160 million years old, in all of Europe. Not forgetting the variety of delicate flora and fauna arrayed in this little reserve. Thus in 1979 it became vital to established Karadag as a protective area.
Within the reserve you will find a severe and unique splendor through elevations of over 577 meters above sea level; formations of extinct volcanoes enveloped in the mystical minerals of crystal, agate, amethyst, cornelian, jasper and opal, amidst a variety of others which can be found in this naturally aged museum. It is also within this unique reserve that you will find such a varied plant ecosystem existing with up to 1,700 plant species on such a minor terrain. Amongst these are pistachio and fir forests, hornbeam, ash, downy oak and broad-leaved forests, grass meadows, mixed herbs and Crimean medicinal plants, like the Rosa canina, which is studied by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Academy of Science came to be as it is now, from the initiative of Terenty Ivanovich Vyazemsky, a Professor and a Doctor of Medicine at the Moscow University in 1901, after a brief first visit to Karadag. His initial reaction was one of great interest at the incredible natural splendor that was before him, thus inducing him to generously donate to the development of the Science station, which after his death in 1914, was accordingly named after him. One of the most astounding aspects of the Science station has to be its library, which has grown and now contains over fifty-seven thousand books instituted originally by T.I. Vyazemsky as a gift.
However in 1979 on the base of the Biological Station known as the Karadag Department of the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas, the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (IBSS ASU) established the state reserve of Karadag, though it would be another eighteen years before it would be known as the “Karadag Natural Reserve of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”. Today the reserve covers not only this beautiful and varied landscape but also 809 hectares of the Black Sea which is included in the total 2874.2 hectares of the Karadag Natural Reserve.