Poliskyi Reserve – Bird Watching Paradise

If you are an avid bird watcher, the Poliskyi Reserve in Ukraine is a great place to visit. This massive area of protected land spans more than twenty thousand hectares of land and was established in 1968 in order to protect the natural forest-swamp ecosystems that abound here. The reserve is located in the Zhytomyr region of Ukraine and a part of its borders merge with the borders of Belarus. The reserve also acts as a place where biologists and botanists can carefully research the various mixed-forest zones and swamplands to further the protection and understanding of the flora and fauna of the region. In fact, research was one of the main reasons for the establishment of this reserve.

Of all the national parks in Ukraine, the Poliskyi Reserve is one of the largest. Also known as the “Poliskyi Reserve” or the “Polisky Reserve”, the reserve currently falls under the directorship of the State Forestry Committee. The majority of the reserve is situated in the upper Ubort’ river territories and so quite a large portion of the park is swampland. In fact, some five thousands hectares of the park is classified as swampland. This only constitutes about 22% of the entire land area of this massive reserve. The rest of the reserve is mainly covered in pine tree forests – many of which are more than 100 years old. Other reserve habitats include marshes, sand dunes and small streams.

This wonderful variety of habitats provides the perfect home for a number of birds and mammals. Of the roughly 180 bird species found in the park, some forty-seven species are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. A number of incredibly rare or endangered bird species can be found here and spotting any one of them will be a highlight for any avid bird watcher. One such species is the globally threatened Aquila clanga, of which at least one pair can be found in the Poliskyi Reserve. You may also spot bearded owls and short-toed eagles in this beautiful reserve. For those who appreciate observing other animals, wolves and lynx are also quite commonly spotted. The reserve also protects 20 plant species which are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. So visit the Poliskyi Reserve and discover these many natural treasures for yourself.

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