Who lives in the Park?
The fauna of the Park is rich with various species. About 200 species of vertebrate and about 600 species of invertebrate animals are being registered here.
The main zoological and geographical feature of the Carpathians is to prevent plain species from penetrating into this territory. The specific complex of boreal and taiga as well as mountainous species of vertebrates were formed here. Some of these species are not found in adjacent territories and some of them are endemics. These are brown trout, Alpine newt, fire salamander, yellow-bellied toad, western capercaillie, Alpine accentor, grey wagtail, water shrew, Carpathian squirrel, red deer, brown bear, and other species.
The brown bear is the "king" of the Carpathians. It inhabits remote forests, mainly old coniferous and mixed ones, mostly at altitudes of 500-1600 m a.s.l.. This animal is found almost everywhere throughout the territory of the park. The bear often uses the park’s area during migrations. Park employees identified 9 individuals during the last years. The brown bear arranges its dens in hollows of old trees, on slopes in bushes, and among stone rubbles. The beginning and duration of winter hibernation depends on weather conditions. Bears stay in their dens from October or November to March or April, and even later. In summer, bear rests at meadows. In autumn, animals prepare their dens for wintering.
Wolves are also found in the Park. This animal occurs sporadically throughout the Park’s territory. Over the last years, an approximate number consists of 7 individuals. Wolves are forest dwellers, but they do not avoid open spaces. However, you will not meet them in highlands, or deep in forests. Quantity of wolves has also increased. They are found in places with a lot of prey, as well as with a large forage base.
The lynx is also observed everywhere in the Park, especially, in remote areas. The species prefers deep dark coniferous forests, but it also occurs in different forest stands, including mountain forests. It usually lives at an altitude of 1000 m a.s.l.. Its lifestyle is quite secret. The animal tries to avoid encounter with humans. According to the data, there are approximately 12 individuals in the Park.
The Invertebrates are the most numerous group of animals. 14 species of insects have been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine, namely stag beetle, alpine longhorn beetle, old world swallowtail, purple emperor, yellow-spotted ringlet, scarlet tiger moth, and African death's head hawkmoth.
The Mammals are represented by 53 species. 11 of those species have been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Among them one can find Alpine and water shrews, lesser horseshoe bat, European water vole, stoat, European mink, badger, Eurasian river otter, wildcat, lynx and brown bear.
The Birds include more than 110 species, 14 of these birds have been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. They are: black stork, Lesser spotted eagle, golden eagle, hen harrier, duck hawk, western capercaillie, Ural owl, sparrow owl, long-tailed owl, barn owl, alpine accentor, common firecrest.
Migratory birds include white and black storks, wood and common sandpipers, spotted redshank, temminck's stin, common tern, short toed snake eagle, hen harrier, golden plover, barn swallow, common house martin, etc.
Storks usually arrive in the second part of March, and they leave for the south at the end of August, flying a path of about 10,000 km.
Swallows fly to South Africa for winter. Their arrival coincides with appearance of their main food, namely flies and mosquitoes.
Starlings fly to the south of Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa for winter. They fly at a speed of 80 km per hour. An arrival of starlings tells us that spring is coming soon. These birds settle in specially arranged birdhouses.
There are 9 fish species that are registered here. Danube salmon has been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.
The Amphibia classification is represented by 10 different species. Fire salamander, Carpathian and Alpine newts have been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.
The reptiles are represented by 6 different species. The grass snake is the only reptile that been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.
The ways we control terrestrial fauna?
We conduct a large-scale observation of all representatives of terrestrial fauna once a year. In particular, the relative number of red deer, European roe deer, wild boar, wolf, fox, brown bear, European hare, common squirrel, forest marten, river otter, common badger, European mink, ermine, lynx, wild cat, and capercaillie is being monitored.
The ways we learn about local fauna
We study the species composition of fauna and structure of groups by identifying animals on permanent test plots. Such an area includes a certain number of traps of different types. Ground (Barber-Hailer type) and combined traps are used quite often. Information on tracks and individuals is carried out on the basis of phenological observations (phenology is a science about seasonal phenomena on nature), mainly by forest guards, who submit data in the form of completed phenological cards. Employees of the zoological laboratory together with other employees of Park’s departments monitor number of fauna in the park.
We also monitor the relative number and density per 1,000 ha of the water mirror of brown trout. One of representatives of salmons, called brown trout, a fish with bright black and red spots, can be found above the waterfall in Yaremche. Fish rises in mountain streams up to a thousand meters above sea level. You can observe spawning in shallow water in autumn.
Danube salmon is an endangered species. Adults stay deep in the river, below rapids. This fish can be found in the Black Cheremosh River and its tributaries. Salmon spawning takes place there.
Fluctuation of the number of populations of these species depends on biotic and abiotic factors. Conservation of the above-mentioned fish is carried out quite actively in the Park. Fishing is prohibited everywhere in the Park. So, this species is provided with favourable conditions for its reproduction. The national park usually participates in the "Trout Day". Rivers and streams of Yaremche and its suburbs are stocked with trout fries on that day.
To preserve the Carpathians fauna as well as to create favorable conditions for its reproduction, the Park has so called quiet periods every year.
- Spring quiet period lasts from April 1 to June 15.
- Autumn quiet period is from September 15 to November 1.
Visiting of the forest is forbidden during these periods.
In winter, we always feed animals. There are many man-made feeders and salt pans in forests. They are filled with fodder such as hay, corn, salt by forest rangers in winter. The most frequent guests of such feeders are representatives of even-toed ungulates (deer, roe deer, and wild boar). Brown bears also come to feeders.
What species are under the threat?
First of all, these are the representatives who are listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.
- endangered (7 species): class of fish (Danube salmon), class of birds (osprey, western capercaillie, black grouse, barn owl), class of mammals (European mink, brown bear);
- vulnerable (34 species): Leech (European medicinal leech), Insects (Carpathian rove beetle, alpine longhorn beetle, Chrysolina carpatica, old world swallowtail, purple emperor, pease blossom, scarlet tiger moth), Fish (crucian carp golden, common barbel), Amphibians (Carpathian newt, alpine newt, spotted salamander, yellow-bellied toad), Reptiles (smooth snake), class of birds (golden eagle, hazel grouse, Eurasian pygmy owl, green woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker, blue pigeon, alpine accentor), Mammals (common pipistrelle, Lesser horseshoe bat, Daubenton's bat, common noctule, party-colored bat, serotine bat, brown long-eared bat, Chionomys, wild cat);
- rare (31 species) Insects (beautiful demoiselle, golden-ringed dragonfly, stag beetle, oreina plagiata, yellow-spotted ringlet, African death's head hawkmoth, small emperor moth, dark crimson underwing, Urocerus augur, common carpenter bee), Birds (black stork, lesser spotted eagle, hen harrier, short-toed snake eagle, peregrine falcon, eagle owl, little owl, white-backed woodpecker, common rock thrush, great grey shrike), Mammals (alpine shrew, Mediterranean water shrew, northern bat, grey long-eared bat, northern birch mouse, lynx);
- not-evaluated (4 species) Birds (common firecrest), Mammals (river otter, ermine, European polecat);
- lesser known (1 species) of the class of birds (Ural owl).
Fluctuations of number of populations depend on biotic and abiotic factors. The main factors, affecting the decrease of number of rare species, are the destruction of natural habitats, degradation of habitats, and breeding grounds, which is caused by human activity. A rapid climate change also influences on number of species and their habitat.