Most of the Biosphere Reserve is covered by oak-lime-hornbeam forest Tilio-Carpinetum - a forest habitat of high value for nature protection in temperate zone. The majority of forest habitats protected by law on both sides of the border exhibit a primeval character which gives the BR an exceptional value. Moreover, a great deal of dead wood present in each of the habitat types provides a very specific and unique microhabitat for numerous species, most of them endangered, threatened or rare. Despite a relatively good knowledge of the biological diversity of Europe, new species of fungi or invertebrate fauna are discovered in the Białowieża Forest, almost every year.
Designation date: 1976
Regional network: EuroMAB
Surface : 92,399 ha
- Core area(s): 21,946 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 37,780 ha
- Transition zone(s): 32,673 ha
Location: 52°42' to 52°59'N; 23°43' to 23°56'E
The majority of forest habitats exhibit a primeval character which gives the Biosphere Reserve an exceptional value. A great deal of dead wood present in each of the habitat types provides a very specific and unique microhabitat for numerous species, most of them endangered, threatened or rare.
Despite a relatively good knowledge of the biological diversity of Europe, new species of fungi or invertebrate fauna are discovered in the Białowieża Forest, almost every year.
The Forest is also a home to the whole range of ungulates present in Poland (with the exception of the mountain species), large predators such as the lynx and the wolf as well as typical forest dwelling birds. The Forest has a large population of woodpeckers, among which the whitebacked woodpecker and the three-toed woodpecker, which are typical species of old and natural tree stands, are particularly interesting.
In Bialowieza Forest region tourism industry is being developed. There are 5 big hotels, about 300 bed and breakfast and 10 hostels. About 100 owners of horses with wagons, about 120 tourist guides. A border crossing Bialowieza-Piererow was opened for biking and pedestrian traffic. Some projects were implemented (“Development of transboundary tourism in Bialowieza Forest region”) and Local Tourist Organization “Bialowieza Forest region” was founded. Activities connected with tourist services are a main or additional job for many local people (tourist guides, owners of farm tourist units, owners of horses and wagons, guides for birdwatching, “green schools”, bonfires, regional cuisine, marking tourist routes, manufacturing region souvenirs, renting tourist equipment – bikes, skis, etc.).
Within the forest complex there are several settlements (Bialowieza, Pogorzelce, Teremiski, Budy, Grudki, Czerlonka, Jagiellonskie and Zwierzyniec) and sites with high tourist traffic (eg Stara Bialowieza, parking with souvenirs at European Bison Show Reserve, the road to border crossing BialowiezaPiererow) which form transition zone within Bialowieza BR. It allows the sustainable development of these places realizing most important tourist functions and relieves the core zone.
Last updated: May 2019