European Countries

Primeval Forests of Komi (World Heritage)

According to constructmaterials, the almost 33,000 km² area in the Komi Republic in northeastern Europe stretches from the Finnish-Russian border in the northwest to the Urals in the east. It is one of the last untouched virgin forests in Europe and offers a natural habitat for numerous plants and animals.

Komi Primeval Forests: Facts

Official title: Primeval forests of Komi
Natural monument: consisting of the nature reserve and biosphere reserve Pechoro-Ilychsky and the national park Yugyd Va, 32 800 km² tundra and mountain tundra; Eastern part of the park is determined by the northern Urals and its glaciers, on the karst foothills with underground weathering formations
Continent: Europe
Country: Russia
Location: Northwest region of the Komi Republic, western flank of the northern Urals, southeast of Uhta
Appointment: 1995
Meaning: one of the largest European boreal primary forest areas
Flora and fauna: Peat bogs with species of peat moss, moss, wild berries and blueberries; Flooded areas with willow species, mountain ash, bird cherry and black currant; Boreal forest with common pine, red and Siberian spruce and Siberian larch, lingon and bilberry and reindeer lichens, as well as tundra, among others. with saxifrages such as Saxifraga tenuis; 43 species of mammals such as gray wolf, otter, brown bear, lynx, elk, common flying squirrel, pine marten, sable; 204 species of birds such as blue-tailed, nu cracker, three-toed woodpecker, capercaillie, black grouse and willow grouse, wigeon, bean goose, goose warbler

Wonders and diversity of the tundra

On the western slope of the northern Ural Mountains, one of the largest northern primeval forest areas in Europe stretches out in cold-temperate climates with cool, humid summers and long, cold winters. In the south of this original forest area, the biosphere reserve and nature reserve Pechoro-Ilychsky was established as early as 1930, which lies roughly between the upper reaches of the Pechora and the Ilych river. Only qualified scientists have access there; Nature lovers, on the other hand, can visit the large Yugyd Va National Park created in 1994, which is further north. However, access to individual protection zones is also denied there.

The Komi republic, named after its Finno-Ugric indigenous people, in which the boreal forest areas are located, is located immediately south of the Arctic Circle and is part of the tundra or the mountain tundra of the Urals, whereas the boreal primeval forests are predominantly part of the taiga. The diversity of the landscape, fauna and flora is extraordinarily large: mountain ash trees can be found as well as Siberian spruces and Siberian larches or saxifrages.

Both protected areas show a similar landscape cross-section. In the west, at a height of about a hundred meters above sea level, there is flat land with river plains and marshland. In the south of the Pechoro-Ilychsky Reserve there are large plains of sand and clay that were washed up by glacial currents. To the east, there is an undulating terrain that merges into the foothills of the Urals. This karst promontory was created by weathering in connection with millennia-long leaching of the limestone; the remaining formations with their caves and craters, stone pillars and sometimes dry river beds form a bizarre and varied landscape with numerous natural monuments.

The common pine is predominantly found as an important representative of the coniferous forest, as is the Siberian larch, which grows mainly in the higher altitudes. Norway spruce, Siberian fir and Scots pine are mainly found in the valleys. The Siberian pine, which only thrives there in Europe, is the character tree of the primeval forests. At higher altitudes, crooked forest, grasslands and mountain tundra thrive.

Brown bears roam the nature reserves as well as the somewhat sedate-looking moose. Lynx, gray wolf, fox and otter catch prey here. And the sable, which is very popular because of its fur, can also be found here. The knocking sound of the three-toed woodpecker is unmistakable. Meanwhile, capercaillies with their typical bluish plumage on their breasts and belly and the distinctive reddish arch over their eyes are busily looking for wild berries. Red grouse protect themselves against their enemies with a white winter coat. Black jays, pine jays and blue tails also populate the northern edge of the Urals. In the mountain rivers rich in fish, salmon, grayling and whitefish are not uncommon.

However, the jungles of Komi are threatened by several dangers. First and foremost, the rigorous deforestation by foreign industrial groups must be mentioned, which, however, have recently withdrawn. In addition, conservationists were able to fend off plans to reduce the size of the protected areas by administrative means. Due to poaching by the local population, the animal populations have in some cases been significantly decimated. In recent years, through their commitment, some environmental associations have been able to draw attention to this huge primeval forest area, which has been constantly forested since the end of the last ice age, has been able to preserve its biological and genetic diversity and represents a unique field of observation of the ecosystem of the boreal primeval forests.

Primeval Forests of Komi