Research and identification of the Exclusion Zone areas with the most valuable natural complexes, worthy of the highest conservation status and certification

Customer: State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management (SAEZ)
Period: 2012 – 2014
Purpose of the research – identification of the Exclusion Zone areas, which have the most valuable biogeocenoses from the environmental point and their comprehensive evaluation for submission on improvement of the conservation status.
Research Methods: review of the literature and reports, analysis of materials of the state forest management, assessment of species diversity of plants and animals at the research sites, registration of birds by voices, registration of chiropterans by trapping, registration of animals with automatic cameras, information processing using GIS software applications.
Results of the research: conclusions in the report form, mapping schemas and database on the diversity and values of landscape conditions and structure of flora and fauna on the two parts of the Exclusion Zone, determination of the level of human impact and necessity for their protection, providing suggestions for their size and protection form.
Predictive assumptions about the development of the research object: the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has a very large area and a significant diversity of natural conditions that are impossible to estimate within a short period of time. The consistent continuation of the similar research is assumed at the new territories.

In 2013, the relevant activities were continued and extended to a new site within EZ, which has the operating name “Horodyshche” (5115 hectares) and is located in the vicinity of Nova Krasnytsia, Richytsia, Stari Shepelychi, Buriakivka villages.

The works included the following activity types:

  • general description of radioecological conditions;
  • general description of landscape and soil conditions;
  • description of plant systems;
  • description of vertebrate fauna;
  • search for Red Data Book species of plants and animals, other valuable natural objects, evaluation the role of the research site in their life;
  • assessment of biodiversity figures within the research sites;
  • assessment of the relative level of anthropogenic transformation within the local systems and the level of modern anthropogenic impact;
  • general assessment of the need for assigning a conservation category to the research site and identification of the relevant territorial boundaries.

Based on the research results and with due regard to the fact that practically all quarters within “Horodyshche” site are located outside the zones of industrial or forestry interests, we made a conclusion that the entire territory of “Horodyshche” research site, with the total area of 5115 hectares, is worth a status of regionally-important nature reserve, with “reserved” land-use conditions. The detailed report on the research results was delivered to the customer.

In 2014 the works were extended to a new ChEZ site bearing the operating name “Budniansko-Richytsky Luky” (5,870 hectares) and located between the former population centers including Krasne, Buda, Tovsty Les, Nova Krasnytsia, Richytsia any Rudky.

The activities included the following types:

  • general description of radioecology conditions;
  • general description of landscape and soil conditions;
  • description of plant systems;
  • description of vertebrate fauna;
  • search for Red Data Book animal and plant species, other valuable natural objects, assessing the role of the test site in their life;
  • estimation of biodiversity figures on the research sites;
  • estimation of the relative level of anthropogenic transformation within the local systems and the level of modern anthropogenic impact;
  • general assessment of the need for assigning a conservation category to the research site and determination of appropriate territorial borders.

Based on the research results and with due regard to the fact that practically all quarters on the site named “Budniansko-Richytsky Luky” are located outside any industrial or forestry interest zones, we made the conclusion that the entire territory of the research site named “Budniansko-Richytsky Luky” with the total area of 5870 hectares worth a status of regionally-important nature reserve, with “reserved” conditions of land use.

The detailed report on the research results was handed to the Customer.Contact:
IRL Deputy Director in Science,
Head of the Radioecological Research Department
Sergei Gaschak
T. +38 04579 2 30 16
F. +38 04579 2 81 44

e-mail: sgaschak@chornobyl.net