There are 12 MPAs in Ukraine, classified in four different categories. These are:

Biosphere reserves
  • Danube Biosphere Reserve,
  • Black Sea Biosphere Reserve.
National nature parks
  • “Tuzlovski Lymany”,
  • “Biloberezhzhia Sviatoslava”.
Special Nature reserves
  • “Zmiinyi Island” (zoological),
  • “Zernov’s Phyllophora field” (botanical),
  • “Small Phyllophora field” (botanical),
  • “Karkinytskyi” (ornithological),
  • “Swan Islands”(ornithological).
Nature reserves
  • “Cape Martian”,
  • “Karadazkyi”,
  • “Opukskyi”.
  • Map of Ukraine MPAs.
Zernov’s Phyllophora field

“Zernov’s Phyllophora field” is a unique habitat located in the north-west Black Sea. The site is home to a dense stand of red algae (Phyllophora) and a range of associated species. On November 21st 2008 the area was declared a botanical reserve of national importance. This made it the first offshore, fully marine MPA in the Black Sea. The reserve covers 402,500 ha which accounts for 12.5% of the north-west Black Sea shelf.

The reserve is managed by the Ukrainian Scientific Centre for the Ecology of the Sea (UkrSCES) who have developed a management programme for the reserve. The aims of the programme are:

  • Preservation,
  • Restoration,
  • Sustainable resource use.

The Phyllophora field was significantly damaged during the 1970’s due to human pressures. However, in recent years the area has begun to recover and extend its boundaries. It is hoped that this recovery will be aided by the added protection of the MPA designation.

Credit: Eduard F. Kostylev, Fedor P. Tkachenko, Irina P. Tretiak.

Danube Biosphere Reserve

The Danube Delta is one of Europe’s largest wetlands, consisting of reedbeds, water channels, lakes, flooded forests, meadows, marshes, sand, and remnants of steppe. At approximately 2860 km, the Danube River is the second longest river in Europe. The Danube Delta has a total area of 4180 km2, of which 82% is located in Romania and 18% in Ukraine. The delta is a haven for wildlife and is considered to be one of the world’s 200 most endangered wetlands (WWF Global 200).

The Kiliya delta, located south of Vylkove, Ukraine, is the newest part of the Danube Delta and has formed in the last 400 years.

The Romanian – Ukrainian ‘Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve’ was declared on December 9th 1998. In total the reserve covers approximately 50,252.9 ha and is home to a number of rare and Red Data List species.

The City Vilkovo, the original capital of the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta has a rich and distinctive culture. The local community has worked hard to maintain many traditional customs, dialect and the religious beliefs. They also play an important role in caring for and protecting the biodiversity of the region.
Black Sea Biosphere Reserve

Black Sea Biosphere Reserve biosphere reserve was established in 1927 and is located on the northern Black Sea coast in the regions of Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts.

This large reserve is home to a range of habitats including gulfs, islands, groves, sand dunes and steppes.

Many endangered species of plant can be found on the reserve which is also home to a wide variety of bird species. Due to the areas rich birdlife the reserves wetlands have achieved international recognition. In December 1984 the reserve was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It is also on the international list of the Ramsar Convention.

Source: Black Sea Biosphere Reserve
The Botanical Nature reserve “Small Phyllophora Field”

The Botanical Nature reserve known as the “Small Phyllophora Field” was created by a 31 August 2012. The aim of the reserve is the conservation and restoration of natural areas of the Black Sea that have special environmental, scientific, aesthetic and cognitive value. The reserve is located in the Karkinitsky Bay of the Black Sea and is covers approximately 385 square kilometers.

The field survey of the inner part of Karkinitsky Bay in September 2008 showed that communities of benthic macrophytes flourished over approximately 80% of the seabed. In the coastal part, stands of the sea-grasses of Zostera nana and Z. marina dominated, whereas the central part of the bay was covered with aggregations of unattached (spherical form) Phyllophora crispa.

At the present time the overall area of the Small Phyllophora Field is represented by two areas of Phyllophora growth.

You can view interesting videos of underwater flora and fauna of the Karkinitsky Bay, that were filmed near the surveillance stations of this MPA (Od IBSS, A. Kurakin):

You can also view the underwater life of the Crimean peninsula going to a video page in the gallery.