Zacharovanyi Krai National Nature Park
Zacharovanyi Krai National Nature Park (Національний природний парк «Зачарований край»; Natsionalnyi pryrodnyi park Zacharovanyi krayi, or ZKNPP). A national park established in 2009 on the basis of a regional landscape park of the same name. The park is located in the in the Irshava raion of Transcarpathia oblast and covers an area of 6,101 ha. It is situated in the central range of the Velykyi Dil mountain group in the Volcanic Ukrainian Carpathians. Its highest peak is Mount Buzhora (1,085 m). The main waterway in the park is the Irshavka River.
The tectonic structure of the terrain in the ZKNPP is based on the bedrock of volcanic deposits, primarily andesites and basalts. Within the forest zone brown mountain forest soils are predominant. The park also features unique natural depressions with bog soils and peat deposits. One of such depressions is the Chorne Bahno site located at the foothills of Mount Buzhora. Chorne Bahno is the deepest peat bog in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. The Smerekovyi Kamin site is notable for its rare rocky landscape formations. It was around the Smerekovyi Kamin site that the Zacharovana Dolyna nature preserve was initially established in 1978.
The ZKNPP features rich and diverse flora. The foothills are covered with beech and mixed coniferous-beech forests. Occasional sessile oak-beech stands have been preserved as well. Wetland vegetation is found only locally in deep depressions. Some 600 species of vascular plants are featured in the park, among them nearly 40 rare species included in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Of special interest are over 10 rare species of orchids.
The park’s fauna is typical for the southwestern slopes of the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. Among mammals, many species of bats are found. Ungulates are represented by roe deer, red deer and wild boar. 14 rare animal species found in the ZKNPP are included in the Red Data Book of Ukraine, among them wild cat, river trout, badger, river otter, Ural owl, Carpathian newt, and spotted salamander.
The ZKNPP is a well-known tourist destination. Picturesque stone cliffs in the Smerekovyi Kamin site are popular among climbers. Several camp grounds located in the vicinity of the Kamianka site are very popular summer-camp destinations for children from all regions of Ukraine.
[This article was written in 2013.]