Nature of Ukraine
Ukraine is the country in Eastern Europe. Vast majority of its territories is on East European plain and 29% of its territory is mountainous. There are Carpathian Mountains in south-western part of the country. Climate in mountains has altitude related variations. South of Ukraine is washed by the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
Ukraine has temperate climate with slight variations in different parts of it. Summers there are warm and long. Eastern and southern regions are warmer and drier. Weather in winter differs among regions in greater extent. North-eastern part experiences colder winters while in western and southern part of the country is warmer.
Places in Ukraine
Nature of Ukraine is vivid and beautiful. Majority of plain territories is being used in agricultural purposes, but there mountains, forests, coasts and steppes too. Some of natural sights of the country are unique.
(Tsyurupinsky district. Author: Nataliya Shestakova)
In Kherson Oblast there is one of the biggest deserts in Europe. Oleshky sands is 150 000 hectares (579 sq. mi.) of desert with sparse vegetation. Local dunes are up to 5 m (16 ft.) tall. It can be seen from space as yellow spot on left side of the Dnieper River closer to coast of the Black Sea.
(Butsky Canyon. Author: Лєна Ш)
Through several kilometers of Hirsky Tikych River flows in Buky Canyon. Granite bed of the river is 2 billion years old. The canyon is 20 m (65 ft.) deep and 20-40 m (65-130 ft.) wide. The river enters the canyon through picturesque rumbly waterfall.
(Lake Synevyr, Trancarpathian region. Author: VargaA)
Magnificent Lake Synevyr is the biggest lake in Carpathian Mountains. It has area of 5 hectares (12 acres) and depth of 22 m (72 ft.) in deepest point. Water of the lake is crystal clear and populated by several species of trout. Also there is rehabilitation center for brown bears.
(Khortytsia. Author: Yevgeng)
Khortytsia is the biggest island on Dnieper and has impressive natural variety. It is located in the middle of Zaporizhia. The island is 12 km (7.4 mi.) long and 2.5 km (1.5 mi.) wide and there are steppes, woods and rocks. Flora of Khortytsia differs from inland territories due to unique set of weather conditions.
(Przewalski's Horses. Kherson Oblast. Author: 2bpatchett)
Not far from mentioned Oleshky Sands there is another natural jewel of Ukraine. Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve represents untouched nature of ancient steppes. There are over 400 species of plants and in addition to local species it hosts camels, bison, antelopes, Przewalski's horses, llamas, zebras and many migratory and non-migratory bird species.
(Monument of ancient culture, Zaporizhzhya region. Author: Олена Володимирівна)
Translated from Ukrainian Kamyana Mohyla literaly means “stone tomb”. It is unique sandstone formation in Zaporizhia Oblast. Along with unique structure of local sand this formation attracts visitors by Stone Age petroglyphs in caves. There are more later traces of former cultures. The Stone Tomb is considered to be ancient sanctuary.
Flora of Ukraine
Forests of the country are harmed by current influence of human activities. Significant damage to green resources of the country occurred after World War II during intensive restoration of economy. Nowadays forest occupies around 14% of territory of Ukraine. There are over 20 national reserves, 22 national parks and 28 botanical gardens.
There are around 16 species of plants in Ukraine. In northern mixed forests of oaks, pines and hornbeams are prevailing. Beech, ash, linden and maple are growing in forest-steppe zones. Majority of steppes are being used for agriculture and original variety of grass grows mostly in nature reserves.
(Pine forests of the Carpathian mountains)
Lower slopes of mountains are covered by mixed forests while on higher grounds there are coniferous woods of fir, spruce and pine. In addition there are some locations with ecologically clean mushrooms, berries and medicinal plants. Alpine valleys there are meadows with respective vegetation.
Fauna of Ukraine
Variety of living creatures in Ukraine includes:
- 108 species of mammals.
- 344 species of birds.
- 270 species of fish.
- 39 thousand species of arthropods.
- 1400 species of worms.
- 1200 species of protozoans.
Forests are populated by bears, moose, roes, boars, wolves, foxes, lynxes and badgers. Deer, gophers, martens and martens can be seen in forest-steppe zones along with some birds (partridge, magpie and oriole). White storks are nesting on roofs or power transmission towers. Reptiles are represented by vipers, grass snakes and sand lizards. There are plenty of frogs, toads and tritons in mixed forests.
(Coast of the sea)
Coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are especially rich on various animals. There are graylag geese, seagulls and mute swans. The seas are inhabited by European plaice, plenty of gobies, scomber, three species of herring and even sturgeons. They are sharing home with short-beaked common dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises.
Bodies of water and swamps provide habitat for great egrets and cormorants, European pond turtles, beavers and otters. Rivers of the country are populated by crucian and common carps, catfish, freshwater clams and crayfish.