Preservation, optimization and management of carbon stocks and biological diversity in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone

Information about the project and its results can be found here.

The Customer: United Nations Global Environment Facility (GEF/UNEP)

 The Objective: assessment of the status and development of landscapes and biodiversity within the Chornobyl exclusion zone (ChEZ) with the in-depth analysis of flora and fauna.

In 2916 was prepared the report on the status and development of biodiversity and landscapes in the Chornobyl exclusion zone. The report included analysis of available literature data on the current state and development of natural complexes within ChEZ. The data on flora and fauna species diversity were presented; the development trends for natural complexes were defined; the factors impacting the development of biocenoses, including the ones caused by radiation contamination of the environment, were characterized.

The research data were handled to the Customer.

The Chornobyl Center’s report on the research results under this subject was submitted in 2017.

The research was commenced in connection with the creation of Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve within the ChEZ in April 2016. Activity of the Reserve cannot be implemented without knowing the detailed information about the quality of each quarter of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, distribution and composition of flora and fauna, role of each area in life of plants and animals. This should be the basis for the development of functional zoning of the Reserve, and the directions and content of environmental measures. Such data is currently lacking; existing information is mostly superficial and incomplete. Therefore, the purpose of this work is to describe the biological diversity of the entire territory of the Reserve and the ChEZ as a whole, as well as its individual areas. The second task was to summarize information on the research directions carried out after the accident in terms of flora and fauna in order to find out which objects are least studied and/or what to be studied in the first place.

One of the work results is the summary of knowledge on the development of natural complexes of the ChEZ after the accident, their current state and development prospects. The project provides a description of the species composition of vascular plants, vertebrate animals, and annotated description of species included in the Red Book of Ukraine (2009). The analysis of a level of anthropogenic transformation of the ChEZ’s natural complexes and present-day anthropogenic impact is given in a separate section of the work.

In 2018 the activities were implemented under five directions:

  1. Assessment of the environment-oriented value of Medin Forest area.
  2. Estimation of the number and territorial distribution of river otters.
  3. Estimation of the number, population structure and territorial distribution of Przewalski’s horses.
  4. Estimation of the species composition and seasonal dynamics of bats on the left bank of the ChEZ by analyzing the automatic audio recordings of their vocalization.

Information and technical support of a web-site of the GEF/UNEP project in the ChEZ.