Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve Institute of Steppe Animal Farming Askania-Nova, UA 75230 Askania-Nova, Chaplynsky distr., Kherson region ( last change : 06.12.2010 18:59:04 )

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Przewalski horses (left), Grey Stepp bull (above)
Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve
Institute of Steppe Animal Farming Askania-Nova
13 Frunze St.,
UA- 75230 Askania-Nova, Chaplynsky distr., Kherson region
Phone : +38-05538/6 12 32     +38-05538/6 12 86
Email :

Askania-Nova, which covers 33,307.6 hectares, is a biosphere reserve located in the fescue-and-feather grass steppe, the only area of its kind in Europe. The reserve was established by Falz-Fein, who used over 1,665 hectares of his grassland for this purpose in 1889. This date marks the founding of the first nature preserve in the Russian Empire. Tsar Nicholas II called Askania “a picture from the Bible.” The number of visitors has topped 190,000 per year, although the capacity is set at 100,000. The influx of tourists swelled from 15,000 in the mid-1990s to 75,000 people per year.

Nearly 500 species of higher plants grow in the wild steppe, creating a unique bouquet of scents and visual images. During its 115 years of existence Askania-Nova’s arboretum has become an important center known for its rare and unusual trees and shrubs in the far southern part of Ukraine’s steppe zone. The arboretum consists of three tracts: the old botanical garden, the forest-steppe tract with sparse forests and oak groves, and the new park. They differ as to their age, species, structure of plantations, and the design of their centers. What unites them is the way they harmonize with the surrounding “steppescape” and make an im­pres­sion of natural vegetation.

The reserve has a rich avifauna represented by 272 species. The buffer zone of the reserve is home to over 1,000 bustards. The zoological park of Askania-Nova covers 61.6 hectares of land and has over 4,000 animals representing 118 species, subspecies, forms, and breeds. This collection is the largest source in Ukraine for supplying wild animals to zoos and other nature-protection institutions. Swimming birds are kept in four large bodies of water that were built in 1892 and in later years.

Admission price :
2009: Entrance tickets to the zoo and the reserve cost UAH 15.
Minibus tours are UAH 35 per person. Cart safari across the reserve steppe (previous booking required): UAH 120.

Offer :
Askania-Nova offers scientific and educational recreation opportunities, particular in the arboretum and the zoological park.
Askania-Nova offers ecotourism services along the following routes: the zoological park and the arboretum, the Great Chapelsky Lowland (to observe the herds of wild animals, in vans or on horseback), and the steppe re­serve (on foot). The reserve also organizes themed tours with research associates acting as guides to the steppe, arboretum, and zoological park.

Infrastructure :

Accomodation , Infos : Hotel Kanna (; rooms from UAH 250) and Fortuna Camping Ground, tel.: +38 05538 615 86 (from UAH 35 per night).



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