Ukrainian Steppe Reserve – Protecting Endangered Species

Ukraine is a beautiful country providing visitors with an assortment of wildlife and an array of landscapes to visit. Like so many other countries Ukraine has taken steps to ensure that this natural heritage lasts for generations to come by creating protected areas like National Parks and nature reserves. These will ensure that large pieces of natural, untouched land is preserved in its original form allowing natural processes to continue as they have always done.

The Ukrainian Steppe Nature Reserve is one of these institutes, with a huge section of land allocated for the protection and study of flora and fauna that is fast disappearing. The Steppe Nature Reserve was first established in 1961 and is made up of four sections, each one separate from one another. The reason for this is that each section protects a different eco-system ensuring the preservation of a large variety of plant and animal life in the Ukraine. The entire national park is looked after and controlled by the National Academy of Sciences.

The first section of the Reserve is called Mikhailivska Tsilyna or the virgin meadow steppe. The second section is called Kamyani Mogyly, which is a rocky piece of land containing its own unique ecology. The third section of the Ukraine Steppe Reserve is Khomutivsky or the black-earth steppe, and the Melova Flora Reserve makes up the last part of the reserve. Apart from preservation, the reserve is also actively involved in studying these three steppes and the ecosystems contained in each one of them.

The Mikhailivska Tsilyna is a unique piece of land that is situated in the area classified as the Forest-Steppe but also represents the meadow steppe. Here you will find unique grasses like wheat-grass, corn-grass and sheep’s fescue. The Kamyani Mogyly steppe is situated in the Zaporizhzhyz region and was first founded in 1927. Herb-like vegetation, which includes grasslands and crystal rocks that are part of the Ukrainian crystalline platform, can be viewed here.

The Khomutivsky Steppe Reserve lies on the southeastern part of the Ukraine close to the Gruz’kyi Elanchik River, on the Black Sea low grounds. This piece of land contains unique and rare species of plants that are categorized under grasslands or herbs. An example of some of these species includes the Shrenk Tulip, Lessing Feather Grass and the Tatar Sea Kale. The Melova Flora lies within the Siversky Donets River and was first established in 1988. This important steppe contains a rich variety of species, a lot of which are now extinct elsewhere in the country.

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