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Shatskiy National Park

Shatskiy, Ukraine

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Shatsky National Natural Park (SNNP) - park in Ukraine, which was established in 1983 aimed to preserve, reconstitute and to use effectively Volyn Polissia natural complexes and objects of special environmental, recreating, educational and aesthetic value. The park is located on the territory of Shatsk Region in northwest part of Volyns'ka Oblast', Ukraine. The general area of the park is 490 square kilometers, 188 of which are hand over for the permanent use. Lesia Ukrainka Volyn State University is a scientific curator. Two ecological paths Svitiazianka and Lisova Pisnia are working in Shatsk NNP.

Shats'k lake group is one of the biggest in Europe. On its territory there are more than thirty big, middle, small and very tiny, hardly noticeable on the map lakes. Their total area is almost 70 square kilometers. They constitute single and the biggest European lacustrine group. Among them there is Svitiaz, the deepest lake in Ukraine, its area is 28 square kilometers and depth is 58 meters. Water reserve is 310 millions cubic meters, 180,8 millions cubic meters of them are kept in Svitiaz.

The majority of lakes is joined with each other by soil-reclamation canals of Soviet or earlier times or natural channels. As long as the Main European Watershed goes through Shatsk Region surplus water from them periodically replenishes basins of the Baltic and the Black Sea via the Bug and the Vistula, the Prypiat and the Dnipro accordingly.

Forests occupy 52,5% of general park area, grasslands – 7,3%, marshes – 2,8%, water reservoirs – 14,2%. The rest of the area is taken by tillage, farms and roads. According to the Ramsar Water and Moor Protection agreement the Shats'k lakes lands which are situated between the Prypiat' and the Western Bug are considered to be one of the most important in Ukraine. On this territory migrating birds can find places for their reproduction as well as food and rest on their way from the North to the warm countries. The SNNP together with the local administration managed to fulfill the main nature protection tasks. Due to these achievements the Park was included into the International Net of the Biosphere Reserves within the frames of the UNESCO Program "A Man and a Biosphere" on April 30, 2002. By this act the Shats'k lakes were referred to the most precious complexes of the Earth. In Ukraine lakee Svitiaz' is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine Seven Natural Wonders of Ukraine . Lakes of Shatsk National Natural Park

Svitiaz Lake is of karstic origin. That means it was formed due to progradation of chalk rocks and consequent huge cenote. Nowadays the length of the lake is 9.3 km, its width is 4.8 km, and its surface is more than 27 square kilometers. The lake is fed by either artesian springs or precipitations. Water in Svitiaz is extremely transparent (in sunny weather a submerged white circle is visible to a depth of 8 m), clean and soft. It is determined that it is rich in silver ions and glycerol. Along the coast, especially in the area of the tract "Hriada" and hotel "Shatski Lakes" Svitiaz is mostly shallow and at sunny day it warms up quickly. On a clean sandy bottom one can go a half or even two hundred meters until the water reaches the chest of an adult man. However, the depth of two meters has an area of 1,2 square kilometers, up to three meters – 7,2, up to five meters – 10,6, to ten meters – 4,2, more than ten – 5,3 square kilometers. Therefore, Svitiaz is mainly a very deep lake. Yet by already mentioned "shallow" "Hriada" there are underwater pits: Vovcha – 20 meters, Ohriadna – 15, Kamin – 14, Verteneva – 17 meters. The maximum depth of the lake is 58.4, and the average – 7 meters. The lake has an island near which there is the deepest place on Svitiaz – Holodnetska cavity (58.4 m). One of the legends tells that all the Polissia used to be a sea with whales. Then the sea dried out and only the deepest place remained, it is Svitiaz now and its whale became an island. At the beginning of 1970 several European rabbits were settled there for the experiment. In a short time they quickly multiplied and practically destroyed all vegetation. They did not pose a threat only to the highest island tree – giant poplar which had very rough bark. In order to save the island, foresters had to carry shooting off. The island is one of the few places in Ukraine where Bufo calamita is met. There is also a place of birds mass nesting, many of which are rare. During nesting visiting the island is prohibited. On Svitiaz and other lakes of National Park, the use of motor boats that may pollute water with fuel or oils is prohibited.

On the territory of Shatsk Lakes 1180 species of plants belonging to 124 families are found. Among them there are 795 species of higher vascular plants and 112 - bryophytes. In the park during its existence 332 vertebrate species were noticed: mammals - 55, birds - 241, amphibians - 7, fish - 29 (11 families). Pine and blueberry forests are dominating on the territory of the park. Alder and birch forests are growing in the lowlands. Fauna is represented by typical woodlands species: elk, wild boar, roe deer, rabbits, squirrels. Otter, badger, polecat, marten are met rarer. In the waters of the park about 30 species of fish: roach, bream, pike, carp, occasionally catfish, eel and others. Three major faunal complexes are represented within Shatsk National Park: forest, wetland and synanthropic. In proportion representatives of the first and second set are dominating. The composition of the forest complex includes a third of mammals and more than a half of the entire avifauna of the park. Most characteristic representatives of a forestry complex are: mammals - De Selys Longchamps, Apodemus sylvaticus L., Dryomys nitedula Pall. and Glis glis L., Sciurus vulgaris L., Erinaceus, europeus L, Talpa europaea L., Sorex araneus L., Sorex caecutiens Laxm.S. minutua L.,Crocidula suaveolens Palb. and C. leucodon Herman, Vespertilio serotinus Schreb., Mustela putorius L., Martes martes L., Mustela erminea L., Lepus europaeus Pallas, Vulpes vulpes L., Sus scrofa L., Capreolus capreolus L., Alces alces L.; birds - Columba palumbus L., Streptopelia turtur L., Accipiter gentilis L. and A. nisus L., Buteo buteo L., Strix aluco L. and Asio otus L., Cuculus canorus L., Caprimulgus europaeus L., Upupa epops L., Jynx torquilla L., Dryocopus martius L., Dendrocopus major L., Dendrocopos medius L. and D. minor L., Lullula arborea L., Anthus trivialis L., Troglodytes troglodytes L., Erithacus rubecula L., Luscinia luscinia L., Oenanthe oenanthe L., Turdus merula L., T. philomeios- L. and T. pilaris L., Sylvia curruca L., Phylloscopus trochilus L., Ph. collybitus Vieill. and Ph. sibilatrix Bechst., Ficedula hypoleuca Pall. and Musticapa striata Pall., Parus montanus L., Sitta europaea L., erthia familiaris L., Emberiza citrinella L., Fringilla coelebs L., Acanthis cannabina L., Sturmis vulgaris L., Oriolus oriolus L., Garrulus glandarius L., Corvus cornix L., С. corax L. and other.

The wet-land complex (lakes’ waters, marshes, wet meadows) is consisting approximately of one third of all the Park warm-blooded (about 30 mammals species and 60 birds). The most characteristic representatives are: mammals – mole, common shrew, white-toothed shrew, ermine, vole (Arvicola terrestris L.) and Microtus agrestis L.; birds — Podiceps cristatus L., Ardea cinerea L., Cygnus olor Gm., Anas platyrhynchos L., A. querquedula L, Aythia fuligula L., Porzana porzana L., P. parva Scop., Rallus H L., Fulica atra L., V. vanellus L., Tringa totanus L., G. gallinago L., Scolopax rusticola L., L. Limosa L., Larus ridibundus L., Sterna hirundo L. and Chlidonias nigra L., Circus aeruginosus L., Motacilla alba L. and M. flava L., Anthus pratensis L., R. riparia L., Lanius excubitor L., Locustella fluviatilis Wolf., Acrocephalus schoenodaenus L., A. palustris Bechst., A. scirpaceus Herrn. and A. arundinaceus L., Emberiza schoeniclus L., P. pica L., hooded crow and others.

The synatrophic complex (farmland, settlements) consists of the smallest amount of warm-blooded, only about 20% of the total amount in the Park. The most characteristic representatives are: mammals – Mus musculus L. and Apode- mus agrarius Pall., Microtus arval- is Pall., Rattus norvegicus Berktnhout, Erinaceus eiiropaeus L., Talpa europaea L., Plecotus aiiritus L., Muscardinus avellanarius L. and Gris gris L., Lepus europaeus Pall., Mustela nivalis L., Mustela putorius L., Martes foina (Erxleben); birds – P. perdix L., C. ciconia L., Columba livia Gm., Streptopelia decaocto Friv., Athene noctua Scop., Strix aluco L., A. apus, Alauda arvensis L., Motacilla alba L., swallows: Hirimdo rustica L. and Delichon urbica L., Luscinia luscinia L., Phoenicurus ochruros Gm., thrushes: Turdus merula L. and Turdus philomelos Brehm, warblers: Sylvia borin Bodd. and S.atricapilla L., Serinus сапала L., Ch. chloris L., C. carduelis L., linnet, sparrows: Passer domesticus L. and P. montanus L., Sturnus vulgaris L., magpie, rook (Corvus frugilegus L.), jackdaw (C. monedula L.) and others.

In order to perform its tasks and in accordance with the general plan and the Ukrainian Law "About the Nature Reserve Fund of Ukraine" the Park's territory is divided into 4 functional zones. The zones were pointed out by taking into consideration such factors as a level of the natural complexes preservation, a landscape type, traditional economic activities, a state of flora and fauna objects, cultural and esthetic values of the objects. The distinguished zones are the following: 1. a sanctuary zone (10,5%) - is to protect and restore the most precious natural complexes; its is regulated by the nature reserves requirements; 2. a zone of the regulated recreation (26,5%) - is to provide people's short time rest and sanitation as well as sightseeing; it's allowed to arrange tourists paths and ecological lanes; it's prohibited to cut woods and to fish for the industrial purposes, to hunt and perform other activities that might cause a negative influence on the nature protection complexes and other objects of the sanctuary zone. On this territory there are two ecological lanes - "Sv- itiazianka" and "Lisova Pi- snia", two recreation posts - "Peremut" and "Turyst" and two information posts in this zone. 3. a zone of the stationary recreation (2,0%) - is for Lthe placing of the hotels, gmotels, campings and oth- Jer objects that provide the |Park visitors service. In this zone there are three youth recreation camps, a holiday hotel "Shatski Ozera", a sa- jhatorium "Lisova Pisnia", six educational institutions and 77 rest houses basis. 4. an economic zone (61%) - in its frames traditional Economic activities are carried out; they are aimed to fulfill the tasks given to the Park; on this area there are settlements and the Park's community service objects that function with the respect of the general nature protection requirements. On the territory of the SNNP different scientific investigations are conducted to prevent any possible deterioration of the ecological situation in the Shats'k lakes district. The Park's scientific department also works in the frames of the "Nature Chronicle Program for the Sanctuaries and Nature National Parks".

The Green Book of Ukraine includes 14 plant communities among them rare for Ukraine pine forests with undergrowth of juniper communities featuring spruce, located on the southern edge of the range, as well as rare for Polissia leucobryum pine forest, bearberry pinery, thorny ground-pinery, arctic dwarf birch grouping and others. Red Book of Ukraine indicates categories depending on the state and degree of threat to the population: - (0) - extinct species, any information about their stay in the wild is absent after repeated searches conducted in common areas or other prominent locations and possible places of spread, - (1) endangered species under threats of extinction, preservation of them is unlikely if the pernicious effect of factors that affect their condition continues, - (2) - vulnerable species which in the near future can be categorized disappearing, if effect of factors that affect their condition continues, - (3) - rare species of small populations, which are not classified as endangered or vulnerable, although they are in danger, - (4) - undetermined species known as endangered or rare, but reliable information that would allow to determine to which of these categories they belong is absent, - (5) – insufficiently known species which could be possibly be attributed to one of the above categories, but in the absence of other reliable information question remains not determined, - (6) - recovered species, which populations not cause concern thanks to the measures taken for their protection, however, is not to be used and require constant monitoring. 27 species of plants belongs to the Red Book: Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. - (3) Betula humilis Schrank. - (3), Cephalanthera rubra Rich. - (2), Neottia nidus avis Rich. - (3), Botrychium lunaria Sw. - (2), Diphasiastrum camplanatum Holub. - (2), Liparis loeselii Rich. - (2), Oxycoccus microcarpus Turcz ex Rupr. - (1) Orchis coriophora L. (3), Listera ovata L. - (3), Cypripedium calceolus L. - (2), Epipactis palustris L. - (3), Epipactis atrorubens Schult. - (3) Epipactis helleborine L. - (3) Lycopodium inundatum L. (3), Lilium martagon L. - (3), Platanthera bifolia Rich. - (3), Cladium mariscus (L.) Pohl - (2) Carex davalliana Smithjg-(2) Carex umbrosa Host. - (2), Dactylorhiza incarnata L. 1 (3), Dactylorhiza maculata L, - (3) Dactylorhiza majalis Hunt. - (3), Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Druce). - (3), Lycopodium annotinum L. - (3), Drosera anglica Huds. - (2), Drosera intermedia Naune. - (2), Pinguicula vulgaris L. (2), Scheuchzeria palustris L. (2).

33 species of vertebrates: Neomys anomalus Cabrera - (3) Lutra lutra L. - (2), Mustela erminea L. - (4), Meies meles L. - (2), Pelecanus onocrotalus L. - (2), Ardeola ralloides L. - (2), Ciconia nigra L. - (2), Cygnus bewikii Yarr. - (3), Aythya nyroca Guld. g (2) Bucephala clangula L. - (3), Somateria mollissima L. - (3), Oxyura leucocephala L. - (4), Pandion haliaetus L. - (3), Milvus milvus L, - (1) Circus cyaneus L. - (1) Circatus ferox Gmelin. - (3), Aquila pomarina Ch. L. Brehm - (3) Aquila chrysaetos L. - (3), Haliaetus albicilla L. - (2), Falco cherrug Gray. - (3), Grus grus L. - (2), Haematopus ostralegus L. - (3), Tringa stagnatilis Beehst - (2) Himantopus himantopus L. - (2), Numenius arquata L. - (2), Numenius phaeopus L. - (2), Hydroprogne caspia L. - (3), Bubo bubo L. - (2), Lanius excubitor L. (4), Acrocephalus paludicola L. (3), Regulus ingicapillus L. - (4).

Park is famous for its beautiful beaches, great variety of wild mushrooms and berries, well-equipped ecological lanes, constantly developing "green tourism", greatsights for picture taking, and wonderful comforting wispering of the lake waves. Visiting national parks and outdoor recreation already obtained here such a scale that in summer Shatsk’ population (6.3 thousand people) increases threefold. The number of people in the area (in winter 17.3 thousand) increases to 40 thousand and more.

1. Шацький національний природний парк. Історія та сьогодення / В. Мельник, О. Бірюліна; Шацький нац. прир. парк, Проект Програми розвитку ООН/Глобального екологічного фонду "Зміцнення управління та фінансової стійкості національної системи природоохоронних територій в Україні". - Луцьк: Волиньполіграф, 2010. - 130 с. 2. Шацьке поозер'я: краєзнавчі штрихи з минулого і сьогодення / В. Мельник. - Луцьк: Волиньполіграф, 2010. - 40 с. 3. Основи заповідної справи: Навчальний посібник / Ю. М. Грищенко - Рівне: РДТУ, 2000. - 239 с. 4.Red Book of Ukraine

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Official Record

  • WDPA ID11580
  • NameShatskiy

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    Shatsky National Natural Park (SNNP)

  • Original NameShatskiy

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    Shatsky National Natural Park

  • Country / TerritoryUKR
  • Sub locationUA-07
  • IUCN CategoryIIWhat is this?
  • English DesignationNational Park
  • Designation TypeNational
  • StatusDesignated

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  • Status Year1983
  • Reported Area km2325.15
  • Marinefalse
  • Governance TypeNot Reported
  • International CriteriaNot Applicable
  • Management AuthorityNot Reported
  • Management Plan URLNot Reported




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Official Data Provider

Main Department of National Nature Parks and Reserves, Ministry of the Environment, Ukraine (1999)

Protected Areas of the Ukraine – Digital Map, 1999. Main Department of National Nature Parks and Reserves, Ministry of the Environment, Ukraine.
No commercial use of dataset is allowed unless written permission of authors provided.

The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.


Species information

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