In 2023, the Kaniv Nature Reserve will celebrate its 100th anniversary. One of the oldest nature reserves in Ukraine, it is situated not far from Kaniv, on the right bank and floodplain islands of the Dnipro
In 2023, the Kaniv Nature Reserve will celebrate its 100th anniversary. One of the oldest nature reserves in Ukraine, it is situated not far from Kaniv, on the right bank and floodplain islands of the Dnipro, next to Tarasova Hora Memorial Park. It is home to dozens of rare species of birds and animals. For 30 years, scientists Vitalii Hryshchenko and Yevheniia Yablonovska-Hryshchenko have been studying the local flora and fauna as well as the influence of the Kaniv Reservoir on the reserve’s ecosystem.
A maple, a hornbeam, and an acacia behind the shrubs. You can smell freshness and forest. If you concentrate and close your eyes for a minute, you can hear the chaffinch’s singing, the drumming of a woodpecker, and the noise of the Dnipro. Just imagine thousands of ducks, mallards, herons, cormorants and white-tailed eagles creating the surrounding music together. The further you go into the forest, the more nature you experience: moss, mushrooms, unique birds and insects. The dew leaves water drops on clothes, footwear and cameras. It seems that the forest makes visitors stop and look around. Without a doubt, there is a lot to see at Kaniv Nature Reserve.
Vitalii Hryshchenko has been working in the reserve for about 35 years, and during that time, he has seen hundreds of species of animals and plants. Vitalii is an ornithologist — he studies birds and is engaged with their conservation. He was interested in birds in his school years, and his childhood hobby has grown into professional interest.
“There was a well-known zoologist Lev Kaplanov, who was killed by poachers. He was said to be a zoologist by nature and simply could not be anyone else. I am the same: I can’t do anything else.”
Yevheniia Yablonovska-Hryshchenko also specializes in birds, although she studied microbiology and virology at university. As Vitalii kindly mentions, she betrayed germs during her practice at the reserve in the 2nd year. Here, Yevheniia met her future husband, who then mentored students.
Kaniv Nature Reserve is an object of biodiversity conservation: scientists conserve a variety of organisms from terrestrial, marine, and aquatic complexes, and study changes in nature to maintain harmony across ecosystems.
The reserve has recently been granted an international status as an Important Bird Area, and also has become part of the Emerald Network, a list of areas of special conservation importance that are essential for the conservation of biodiversity in Europe.