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Why visit the Carpathian Mountains?
In the Ukrainian Carpathians there are now nine national parks and two biosphere reserves. The local and national authorities in Ukraine are working hard to try and preserve the unique ecology of the region. There is now a general ban on tree felling in any of the coniferous forest areas above 1,100 metres in an attempt to preserve this part of the larger Carpathina range.
It is important as in these mountains can be found the last intact virgin forest in the temperate latitudes of Europe. Trees live to be a hundred years old in these forests, providing an important habitat for flora and fauna such as mushrooms, moss, lichen, insects, rare birds (e.g. capercaillie and black grouse) and mammals including brown bear, wolf and lynx.
Tourism and the income that comes from visitors to the region is being used to protect these important ecological areas. It is also important that local businesses benefit from the tourism spend and that local people are stakeholders in the protection of this very special region.