Living pearls of the proud mountains
That is our region that is called "the Green pearl of Ukraine" where diverse flora accounts for about 2500 species and forms.
The Ukrainian Carpathians are the important for Europe center of relict, endemic, rarity plant species. It's a unique treasury of natural resources.
They created fairy landscapes of fir and beech forests, glorified in legends meadows, picturesque valleys of mountain streams.
Coniferous forests cover about 70% of all woodlands. Fir and spruce forests predominate. Pines, larches, cedar European pines, oaks, hornbeams, alders, cherry-trees, nut-trees, berry yew-trees could be found. The berry yew-tree is the most perennial tree in Ukraine, the age of which can reach 4 thousand years. In the past this relic was spread around the forest zone of Europe but then was cut down because of the very valuable wood. Not in vain this tree is called the king's or no decayed wood. The biggest habitat for yew-tree is a Kniazhdvir reserve of 206 hectares around Kolomyia of Ivano-Frankivsk region. European cedar also belongs to the long-livers (3 thousand years).
In the beech primeval forests you may find acutifoliate maple, ash-tree, mountain elm disappeared in many districts of the Carpathians. On the upper mountain slopes there are alpine meadows rich for rare flora, in particular endemic plant: east-Carpathian rhododendron. People call it alpine rose because of beautiful pink flowers.
Of 132 Carpathian species entered in the Red Book of Ukraine 56 ones can be found only in the Carpathians. Among them - edelweiss, Carpathian bluebell, scopolia, hellebore, wood lily and others.
The diversity of nature factors provides the richness of animal world. In the Carpathian forests you may see alpine triton, spotty salamander, marsh tortoise, green toad, Carpathian squirrel, mink, Carpathian deer, brown bear, lynx, European roe, marten, wolf, brown hare, fox that are entered in the Red Book of Ukraine.
In the forests, gardens, fields and ponds there live more than 200 kinds of birds: Carpathian capercailye, woodpecker, thrush, black grouse, dove, sandpiper, heron, stork, chaffinch, hawk.
The fauna of chiroptera is very diverse. There are 21 kinds of bats, 10 of that are rare and entered in the Red Book of Ukraine and European Red List.
Trout, mudfish, minnow, Hungarian sucking-fish can be found in the cold mountain rivers. During the spawning Danube salmon and grayling are rising.
In the Carpathians you may see many interesting. For example, mountains pine growing on Mt. Pip Ivan (it is undemanding, has wide ecological amplitude, and may grow on the stony dry rocks. The tree has a height of 2-4 m, dwarf species - 20-30 cm). Here you can also see the highest tree - European larch (54 m) near Rakhiv (Trancarpathian region) and the lowest one - obtusifolious willow (12-15 cm) on the slopes of Mt. Blyznytsia. In spring one can enjoy the blooming valley of narcissuses not far from Khust or grey herons which every year make up to 100 nests on the magnificent branches of 26 oaks on the slopes of the village of Babyn (Zastanivskyi district, Chernivtsi region).
The valley of narcissuses is the only place in Ukraine where in nature conditions the snow-white narrow-leaved narcissuses are growing. They look like cultivated plants but flowers are bigger and sometimes reach 10 cm in diameter. The picturesque valley of 80 hectares covered with carpet of flowers and surrounded with mountain slopes is really a nature monument.
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