Modern threats to the biodiversity in the Carpathian National Nature Park
Sustainability of the ecosystem depends on its biodiversity. If it loses any of its components, it is easier to find a temporary or a permanent substitution.
The Carpathian National Nature Park was established in order to preserve the unique ecosystems of Chornohora and Horgany ridges. It is necessary to take special care of these areas, since human activities influence them and even can damage them. This region is very popular among tourists, because hotels, cottages, and tourist attractions are permanently being built here.
Sewage pollutes an environment; motor vehicles and boiler-houses worsen an air too. Soil and plant cover is destroyed by ski runs, jeep safaris, etc.
Unfortunately, backpackers can also have a negative impact on nature. Scientists call this process “an intense anthropopression on biological diversity”. This is human influence on the unique natural environment, which is irreversibly changed as a result of this influence. Probiy and Huk waterfalls, Nesamovyte and Maricheyka lakes are especially affected. A large number of tourists, who hike to Hoverla, Pip Ivan, and Khomyak Mounts as well as to the Dovbush Rocks Trail destroy the habitat of rare species of plants and animals. The habitat loss is the main threat to the most endangered species.
Famous Rhododendron myrtifolium, Dryas octopetala, Loiseleuria procumbens, shrub species of the willow (Salix), Cetraria islandica are the most affected in the result of trampling. These groups are replaced with dense rhizome cereals, which form a dense grass stand and do not allow the seeds of various grasses to germinate. Please walk on trodden path in order to save for the future all that you admire now.
Flora of the Park also suffers, since many tourists pick flowers in order to make a beautiful bunch of mountain flowers. Please, do not do that! Plucked flowers die quickly, and their loss does not be recovered. “Beauty lovers” cause a huge damage to such high-altitude rare species as Gentiana acaulis, Pulsatilla alba, Anemone narcissiflora, Doronicum clusii, Primula minima, and Senecio carpaticus.
An unauthorized picking up the medicinal plants can be harmful for the biodiversity of the Carpathians. Please never pick up such species as Cetraria islandica, Gentiana asclepiadea, Potentilla erecta, Rhodiola rosea, Gentiana lutea, G. punctata), some species of aconite (Aconitum sp.).
The only population of (Oreochloa disticha) in Ukraine has been preserved on slopes of Turkul Mount. Unfortunately, some tourists stubbornly do not pay attention on bypass signs. As a result, a valuable plant community is doomed to extinction.
Low economic status of local population also affects the environment. As soon as there is a demand for this or that local product, local residents find ways to extract it from nature and sell it. This issue concerns rare medicinal species of plants, mushrooms, blueberries and lingonberries, Icelandic cetraria, “New Year’s trees”, etc. This resource is consumed so widely that it has become rare. These plants can even disappear in the future.
Some methods of agriculture and forestry are also harmful to nature such as burning grass, abandonment of pastures, changes of land cultivation methods and, in particular, the use of pesticides and fertilizers, as well as illegal tree felling.
Majority of population does not care of survival of certain species of flora or fauna. Some conservation measures, such as forests cuttings limiting, meet resistance quite often.
Biodiversity conservation is a long process that is not easy to explain or demonstrate clearly. We sometimes talk about the threat to species unknown to ordinary people. Neither eco-activists, nor ordinary citizens are interested in rare mushrooms, lichens, or insects. At the same time, the disappearance of any unknown and lesser known species can affect one or another important chain of the ecosystem of the entire Park.
Time is also precious. The process of reducing biodiversity continues slowly. This process cannot be seen by simple observations and experiments, and their results would be clear not only to specialists. Therefore, an ordinary person does not usually worry about a problem that he or she does not find relevant or really dangerous.