Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest
The 7,117 ha Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is embedded in the Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh Wilderness and in Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, located in western Ukraine. The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve includes Kuziy-Trybushany WILDForest and three additional large areas with Wilderness and WILDForest potential: Svydovec, Chornohora, and Maramorosh. The Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is an hotspot for biodiversity, depending on spontaneous natural processes and ecosystem dynamics. The old-growth forests of Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is an important reference area for comparisons with managed forest. Data from this forest provide an important basis for the evaluation and improvement of nature conservation and the forest management concept all over Europe. Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is part of the UNESCO Word Heritage Site – Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe.
European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit System
The 7,117 ha Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest was audited in 2017 and meets the Platinum Wilderness Quality Standard. The Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest also includes 3 WILDRivers – upper watersheds of Mala Uholka River (7 km), Velyka Uholka River (8 km) and Shyrokyy Luh River (9 km) and Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh Wilderness. A European Wilderness Quality Standard Renewal-Audit is scheduled for 2027.
- Protected area: Carpathian Biosphere Reserve
- WILDForest: Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest
- Wilderness Quality Standard: Platinum
- Country: Ukraine
- Size of the protected area: 57,880 hectares
- Size of the WILDForest: 7,117 hectares
- European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit: 2017
- WILDForest Uniqueness: Large contiguos area of old-growth beech and mixed forest, favourable habitat for wolf, bear and many other rare species
- Number of visitors per year to the protected area: approx. 20,000
- Number of visitors per year to the WILDForest: approx. 1,000
The Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is the largest areas with contiguous old-grow beech forests in Europe. It is an area of a great international importance and a local hotspot for biodiversity depending on spontaneous natural processes and ecosystem dynamics. It contains representatives of flora and fauna, typical for old-growth Carpathian beech forests. The most striking and impressive features of this forest are big trees, the broken tree stems covered with a variety of fungi and the deadwood trunks of fallen trees. The area is a place of permanent population of the brown bears, wolves and lynxes. Typical dwellers are the black stork and eagle-owl. Rich variety of life can be found in the deadwood trunks, such as the protected alpine longicorn Rosalia beetle.
Wilderness Tourism Experience
Access to Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest is permitted only for guided tours and for participants of workshops. The Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh Wilderness is located approx. 90 km from Uzhhorod and approx. 60 km from Ivano Frankivsk. The Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh Wilderness is accessible for cars and buses. Two nature trails, in Mala Uholka and Velyka Uholka, provide a unique experience in Uholka-Shyrokyy Luh WILDForest. The trails lead through primeval beech forest, passing the caves in limestone massive, and the karst bridge.