Synevyr, the largest mountain lake in Ukraine with an area of 29 hectares, is recognized by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance. And is one of the absolute highlights of the National Natural Park that shares the lake’s name. However, the park also contains many other spectacles, including unique Carpathian peaks, crystal clear waterfalls, rivers, and further lakes.

Park area 430 Sq km.

2,8 thous.
hectare of UNESCO World Heritage primeval forests
high mountain lakes
routes for trips with a length of 138 km
mountains with a height of more than 1500 meters

Rehabilitation centers for brown bears as well as birds of prey that are unique to Ukraine are open to park visitors. Wild wolves, lynxes, deer, and roe deer can also be found in the park. Capercaillie, and other grouse nest in the park’s spruce forests, white and black storks glide over peat bogs, and golden eagles soar high in the sky.

The park also works in harmony with local cultures and traditions and is home to the only Museum of Forestry and Alloy in Europe, one of only two such museums in the World, shining light of the fascinating ancient history of Ukraine.

Cooperation with the Frankfurt Zoological Society

Overcoming the challenges caused by war. Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Synevyr National Nature Park (NNP) has provided shelter for internally displaced persons. It was a difficult task for the park to adapt to become a refuge center: Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) offered support in preparing accommodation for the hundreds of people seeking refuge from the effects of the war. With support from partners in Romania, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia, FZS provided essential items including medicines, warm clothes, hygiene products, and food supplies, purchased mattresses for guest beds and transferred other essential goods from its partners. 

In order to ensure operations can continue in the event of a power outage, FZS also purchased and provided two powerful generators and fuel to allow the park’s administration teams to continue their essential work without interruption.

Construction and reconstruction. FZS plans to renovate the visitor center, which is located next to the main office building of the Synevyr National Nature Park. FZS is also supporting the completion of the construction of a visitor center located next to the Brown Bear Rehabilitation Center.

Support for creating management plans. FZS aims to conserve wildlife and ecosystems, with a focus on safeguarding protected areas and outstanding wild places. FZS provides support to the Synevyr NNP as it carries out essential conservation tasks. 

The conservation efforts in the Synevyr NNP are coordinated under the “Conservation of highly valuable primeval and old-growth forests in selected national parks in the Ukrainian Carpathians” project, a collaborative initiative aimed at effectively organizing and managing conservation work in the nature reserve. This consists of a multi-stage process: 

  • Assessment of the ecological, sociological, and cultural values and resources of the nature reserve, including their conditions, threats, and impacts. 
  • Formulating a 10-year conservation strategy.
  • Creating a five-year action plan to maximize results in preserving high conservation value aspects of the nature reserve.

The project’s development and organization are being carried out by a team of FZS experts, nature reserve specialists, and local communities and other stakeholders. Management plans for the project are currently under development.

Biodiversity monitoring. To qualitatively monitor the state of biodiversity in the Synevyr NNP, FZS utilizes the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) system. The system helps to collect, measure, and evaluate biodiversity data effectively and efficiently. Smartphones and other necessary equipment were purchased and provided to park security personnel. Additionally, training and ongoing user support is provided. Since 2021, camera traps have been used to monitor large predators. 

Operating cost support. Due to constraints on state funding as a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, FZS has been providing ongoing financial support for the implementation of the conservation plan in the NNP since May 2022. This assistance includes procuring office space, communications support, fuel expenses, and maintenance and repair costs for vehicles. 

Improving the ability to perform environmental protection tasks. As part of the Support to Nature Protected Areas in Ukraine (SNPA) project, of which FZS is the main partner, vehicles (such as cars and motorcycles) and computer and IT equipment have been purchased for park employees, as well as uniforms for security personnel.

What do we do

By combining international experience with local knowledge and expertise, we support the preservation of the large areas of pristine and near-pristine nature in Ukraine. We mainly do this by supporting projects in major protected areas such as national parks, biosphere reserves, and large nature reserves.