Vyzhnytsia National Nature Park (NNP) combines the beauty of rolling foothills and immense natural diversity. The thick forest cover blanketing the landscape conceals incredible ecosystems, as well as several sites of substantial natural, historical, and architectural importance.

Park area 113,69 Sq km.

icon-Path (1)
travel routes
a rare species of animal
historical and architectural objects
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62,5 км
length of routes
rare species of plants

The park has become a safe haven for rare plants and animals, including 81 animal and 41 plant species included in Ukraine’s Red Book. This includes spotted salamanders, forest cats, brown bears, and lynxes. Rare species of orchids also grow in the park and three types of ferns.

Another highlight of the park is one of Ukraine’s oldest living inhabitants – an ancient beech tree that is more than 250 years old. This wonder of nature can be found in the Stebnyk Formation, has a diameter of 4.5 meters and is as tall as a 12-storey building.

Cooperation with the Frankfurt Zoological Society

Overcoming the challenges caused by war. Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vyzhnytsia 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. Beds and kitchen equipment were provided, and bathrooms installed. The NNP became a hub where aid was received, which included tens of tons of medicine, warm clothes, hygiene products, and food provided by FZS’s partners in Romania. The large volume of donations were distributed and transferred to other centers housing displaced people. All this was carried out by volunteers and park employees. 

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

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 Vyzhnytsia NNP as it carries out essential conservation tasks. 

The conservation efforts in the Vyzhnytsia 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 Vyzhnytsia 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  – including 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.