The Danube Biosphere Reserve is situated near the town of Vilkovo.
In the territory of Ukraine, lower course of the Danube River is distinguished by its biological diversity and abundance of nature. Its uniqueness and distinctiveness are stipulated by Kilia estuary situated here, the youngest and the most dynamic area of one of the world’s biggest estuaries, i.e. the Danube estuary, as well as by big freshwater habitats - coastal lakes.Place: 132 a Tatarbunarskogo povstannya str.
Consequently, great sites of wetlands represented by reedy flooded areas, covered with a net of straits, channels, numerous lakes prevail here. Besides, land ecosystems are diversified in this area. On a relatively small territory, there are parcels of flood plain forests, meadows, saline lands, sands, remains of steppes. In densely populated and utterly developed Europe, the Danube estuary is a real oasis of wildlife amid tilled and disturbed steppes of South Ukraine.
To ensure protection of nature complexes of the Danube region in accordance with the Decree of President of Ukraine No.861/98, dated August 10, 1998 the Danube Biosphere Reserve was founded on the basis of a natural park "the Danube flooded areas”.
953 species of vascular plants are registered in the territory of Ukraine, with 20 species among them that are entered in the Red Book of Ukraine (summer snowflake, floating ling, Bessarabian carnation, swamp saw-grass, bouche ornitogalum, floating moss and so on) and 11 species are entered in European Red List.
In the reserve aquatorium, 90 species of fishes are registered, with 15 species among them that are entered in the Red Book of Ukraine (sterlet, the Danube salmon, the Black Sea salmon, Atlantic sturgeon, mud minnow, striped ruff, hausen, etc.) and 7 species are entered in the European Red List.
255 species of birds are discovered (62.0% of Ukrainian bird fauna), among them 124 species are noticed on nesting and 196 are transient species. 41 species of birds are entered in the Red Book, they are as follows: small gannet, erne, European white pelican, Dalmatian pelican, black stork, common eider an so on),. 7 bird species are entered in the European Red List.
42 species of mammals are recorded, 13 species of that number are entered in the Red Book of Ukraine: otter, herring hog, marbled polecat, mole rat, monk seal, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, forest cat and so on.
There are over 800 species of insects in the reserve territory. 36 species of this number are entered in the Red Book of Ukraine: European ground beetles, odoriferous, hawkmoth dead's head hawk, European swallowtail, Kiliya scolia maculata, stizus fasciatus, ant-lion. !5 species are entered in the European Red List. 11 species of amphibians and 5 species of reptiles, no species from the Red book are registered.
The Danube Biosphere Reserve is not only inferior to international reservations as regards its potential, but it has many advantages over them. The growing interest towards the reserve can be observed not only on the part of international, but also on the part of scientific community. Its popularity is substantially growing with home and foreign tourists. That requires paying special attention to such kind of tourism as ecologic tourism.
Ecologic tourism is neither more nor less than a kind of natural tourism that is distinguished for its dependence on natural ecosystems preservation and ecologic tourism development requires corresponding level of management to prevent inflicting harm to nature
With the aim of attracting tourists to participation in region nature protection in various methods and to provide them with required information, Information and tourist center was established as part of the Danube Biosphere Reserve.
It is here that tourists are informed on environment-oriented territory status, measures to ensure preservation of animal and vegetal life diversity, on the ways to decrease the influence on fragile natural complexes and are provided with lots of other useful information about the history of the land and ecosystem exploitation.
Information and tourist center is annually visited by over 3000 tourists (and in 2005 and 2007 it was visited by over 5000 tourists), by those who have chosen a pearl of the Danube area – the Danube Biosphere Reserve as the place of recreation and getting new knowledge and pleasant impressions.
tel: (04843) 44619