Berezinsky biosphere reserve

Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve has a particular role in nature protection, what is highlighted at national and international levels. The reserve is situated along the upstream of the Berezina River, 100 km off to the North of the capital of the Republic of Belarus – the city of Minsk. There are four types of ecological systems at the Reserve: forests, bogs, water reservoirs and meadows. Woodland makes up around 80% of the Reserve's territory.

Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 85.192 hectares of forest, marsh, lake and river systems. It was established in 1925 for the protection of rare animal species and it was given protection by the Council of People’s Commissars, making this the first state game reserve in the Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1979, Berezinsky Reserve received the status of a biosphere reserve and it has been included in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves World Network. The reserve is situated at the watershed of the Baltic and the Black Seas, in the European-Siberian region of the Palaearctic, in the Southern taiga zone. The reserve is the oldest of the protected sites that form the wilderness heritage of Europe.

The long term protection of the reserve has resulted in a special biodiversity. It plays host to mammals such as brown bear, lynx, wolf, otter, beaver and elk, and since its re-introduction in 1974, a herd of European bison, whilst 230 species of bird have been recorded including wood-grouse, black-grouse and capercaille.

The area is also known for its historic sites, such as Slavic tombs, ancient trade ways and waterworks and battle place between the Russians and French in 1812. In the beginning of April 2013 PAN Parks Foundation awarded Wilderness Diploma to Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.