The Uzhanskyi National Nature Park (NNP) is located on Ukraine’s borders with Poland and Slovakia. This area of the Eastern Carpathians was the scene of the battles of World War I, as well as numerous fortifications of the Arpad Line during World War II. Now, sustainable tourism is being actively developed here and currently the length of eco-trails enabling visitors to navigate the park is around 140 km.

It is here that some of the oldest trees in Ukraine are located: 1000-year-old grandfather oaks. Another hugely popular spectacle is the Black Mlaky tract, where a huge meteorite weighing almost 500 kg fell in 1866.

Park area 461.47 Sq km.

ecotourism routes with a length of 140 km
The largest oak trees in Ukraine grow
karst caves
wooden churches- architectural monuments
2,5 thous. ha
old beech forests
icon-Eco path
ecological trails
mineral springs
Flow of the Xiang and Uzh rivers
The remains of the Arpad Line fortifications of World War II
The place of the meteorite "Princess"

Hikers will enjoy the picturesque upper reaches of the Uzh River, where you can walk over the Uzhotsky Pass. It offers stunning views over the Eastern Beskydy Mountains. Primeval beech forests extend as far as the eye can see, with more than 3000 hectares of forest under UNESCO protection.

Cooperation with the Frankfurt Zoological Society

Expansion and consolidation of nature conservation areas. Since 2013, FZS has supported and contributed to efforts to expand the Uzhanskyi NNP. It was proposed to incorporate an area of about 11,000 hectares into the park boundaries, the Uzhhorod Forest Farm, which is currently under state management. In 2019, a positive decision was made, expanding the boundaries of the park. During 2023, FZS provided further support to this initiative, lobbying for the formal implementation of the expansion of the park’s boundaries, especially in relation to taking the land under the park’s management and preparing legal documentation. 

Building and reconstruction. As part of the Support to Nature Protected Areas in Ukraine (SNPA) project, of which FZS is the main partner, the construction of premises for the park’s administrative office and a modern visitor center is planned.

Biodiversity monitoring. To qualitatively monitor the state of biodiversity in the Uzhanskyi 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. 

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 Uzhanskyi NNP as it carries out essential conservation tasks. 

The conservation efforts in the Uzhanskyi 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 currently are under development.

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 SNPA project, vehicles 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.