Environmentalists and volunteers of Environment-People-Law continue the study of loss of natural reserve fund (NRF) in each of the regions. Unfortunately, except for existing nowadays NRF areas, information on protected objects that were cancelled in the past for various reasons, hardly exists. Sometimes the reason for this was the intent to cut trees or start construction project there. Part of the areas can get back their protected status. The research is conducted for the first time. Next part of the study covers information on the Mykolayiv region.
As of 01.01.2016, the Nature Reserve Fund of Mykolayiv region includes 140 objects with total area of 101,749.54 hectares. The only nature reserve in the region is Yelanetsky steppe. There is no biosphere reserve in the region but part of its territory is occupied by the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve. Also, there is only one forest reserve of national importance “Ratsynska cottage” here. The only natural monument of national importance is the botanical object “Stepok” and the only memorial of park and garden art of national level is “Mostivskyy park.” The remaining protected areas are of local importance.
Like in other regions, in Mykolayiv region there is overlapping of areas when territory of one natural reserve is partially or fully included into the territory of another natural reserve. Such inaccuracies could adversely affect the calculation of the index and other indicators of protected areas by distortion of the results. 22 objects of protected areas (S = 26299,27 ha) in some way are included into the territories of other protected areas. According to these data, the actual area of protected objects in Mykolayiv region cannot be calculated by simple summation of areas, and taking account of overlapping of objects, the area is 75,450.27 hectares, which is 25.84% less than the total area of protected objects calculated by summation. The territory of protected areas, that is the index of protectiveness generally, is 3.07% of the area of the region.
In order to reveal information about the lost territories of protected areas in Mykolaiv region, we have retrieved from the State Archives of Mykolayiv region copies of all decisions of regional authorities on the establishment of protected areas since 1972 till now and performed comparative analysis of the current list of protected areas according to information published by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine in 2016.
After detailed analysis of the sources (copies of decisions), we found 28 objects of protected areas, which are not on the list for 2016. The total area of missing objects is 2524.57 hectares. Of these, 16 (57.14%) were canceled because they were included to other large protected areas (11; 68.75%), lost natural values or for other reasons that are documented and we have copies of all regulations proving this cancellation. The other 12 sites (42.86%) including 11 nature monuments of local importance do not appear on the actual list.
We also found evidence of creation of zoological reserve “Rose”1, which later became part of the nature reserve “Yelanetsky step”, but none of the existing archival documents says about creation of this object of protected areas with the area of 70 hectares.
We also revealed the fact of returning protected status to two protected areas after its cancellation. These are hydrological reserve of local importance Sofiyivske water reservoir and Zhovtneve water reservoir. Their protected status was revoked by the decision of the executive committee of Mykolayiv Regional Council of People’s Deputies of 23.10.1984 # 448 “On the network of territories and objects of natural reserve fund.” However, in 1990 the protected status was restored by the decision of the executive committee of Mykolayiv Regional Council of People’s Deputies of 11.12.1990 №281 «On the network of territories and objects of natural reserve fund.”
Among the objects of protected areas that included most of those that disappeared there are “Yelanetsky step” reserve, regional landscape park “Hranitno-Stepove Pobuzhzhia”, protected tract “Andriivske”, protected tract “Vasyleva pasika” ‘and municipal children’s park “Kazka”.
Results of the research indicate that since 1972 in the Mykolaiv region 302.46 hectares of protected territories (excluding canceled protected areas that became part of larger objects) were lost, which was only 0.29% of the territory of all created protected areas.
The issue of cancellation and loss of protected areas requires special attention because strict regulations on making decisions regarding cancellation of natural reserves or change of their status was passed only in 2010, while before that there was uncontrolled possibility for appropriation of protected land for the purpose of criminal seizure, illegal private, commercial or industrial use, which led to the destruction of landscapes, flora and fauna.
Previous publications of the cycle: