One of Europe’s Top Wildlife and Wilderness Areas
The Eastern Carpathians, situated in the triangle where Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine meet, is one of the wildest corners in all of Europe.It is one of the few places in our continent with an almost full spectrum of original native wildlife species, even if not yet in their natural numbers. It is also the home of one of the largest wild and free-roaming populations of European bison and the most important refuge for the brown bear in Poland.
The Bieszczady National Park (Poland) together with the Uzhansky National Park and the Nadsyansky Regional Landscape Park (Ukraine) and the Poloniny National Park (Slovakia) together form one of the largest protected area networks in Europe, and together constitute the Eastern Carpathians Biosphere Reserve. Here you will seevast, extensive forests mainly of beech and fir, with untamed rivers, low and medium-high undulating mountains, with scattered alpine meadows, and pockets of fantastic, ancient old-growth forest.
During only an hour walk, you can see tracks in the snow made by various wild mammals like elk, European bison, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, wolf, bear, lynx, beaver and otter. The area also has a very special birdlife, in particular good numbers of raptors (such as honey buzzard, short-toad eagle, lesser-spotted, golden and booted eagle), owls (including eagle owl, pygmy owl, Ural owl). It is also an area where nearly all European woodpecker species can be seen.
“This is a unique area with an amazing diversity of plants and animals creating a great opportunity to study, observe and experience the vanishing world of natural interactions. A couple of hours walk takes you into the world still ruled by natural processes, which are so essential in the Eastern Carpathians. Rewilding Europe can help to sustain and extend the role of these processes and help to support the fragile natural balance of interactions in Bieszczady. Rewilding of former agricultural land may expand the coherent area suitable for wildlife populations, giving them greater chance for survival and reproduction. The challenge is not only to ensure that this important refuge of wildlife in the Eastern Carpathians can be preserved. Rewilding can be used as a tool to further develop this unique area, allowing visitors to enjoy the glorious landscape with its wildlifeand creating new business opportunities for the local people”.
Katarzyna Wasiak, Eastern Carpathians team leader