Who lives here?

The Gorgany Nature Reserve is a cozy home for fauna representatives. As of 2021, the fauna of the reserve included 56 species listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. These are primarily the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the lynx (Lynx lynx), the wildcat (Felis silvestris), the European mink (Mustela lutreola) and the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra).

The fauna of the reserve is closely connected with high-altitude vegetation belts, therefore, its significant part comprises species characteristic of coniferous forests. Here, you can find the following representatives of taiga complex: the lynx (Lynx lynx), the Ural owl (Strix uralensis), the red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos). 

Only such species of animals as the snow vole (Chionomys nivalis) and the alpine accentor (Prunella collaris) are connected with the subalpine zone in terms of ecology while the habitats of most species cover several altitudinal zones.

The reserve is also inhabited by the vertebrates endemic to the Carpathians: the Carpathian newt (Triturus montandoni), the western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), the Ural owl (Strix uralensis), the snow vole (Chionomys nivalis) etc.

The class Insecta involves many representatives of butterflies: the red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), the peacock butterfly (Inachis io), the mourning-cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa), the painted lady (Cynthia cardui) and the small elephant hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus). One can also see the common yellow swallowtail (Papilio machaon), the scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius), the small emperor moth (Saturnia pavonia), which are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. Among the beetles (Coleoptera), the hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremite) and the Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpine) can be observed. More than 60 species of mollusks (Mollusca) live in the protected area.

Rare animals in the territory of the reserve

Red Book of Ukraine

The lynx (Lynx lynx L.) is a long-legged, large-pawed mammal with tufted ears, relatively short body, round head and short neck, bright side whiskers and short tail with a blunt black tip. The coat is reddish to ashy gray in colour with varying degrees of mottling. This species is spread in the Carpathians in mixed and coniferous forests. The lynx feeds mainly on the meat of roe deer, hare, mouse-like rodents and birds. It is most active at dusk and at night. It has a “rare” conservation status in the Red Book of Ukraine; it is included to the IUCN, CITES Red Lists, and the Bern Convention as a protected species.

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is the world’s largest predator on land and the largest predator of the Ukrainian fauna. Fur colour ranges from light brown or reddish to dark brown. Body weight can reach over 400 kg. It makes dens under uprooted trees, in the old tree hollows, on the slopes in the shrubs and amidst stone rubble. It is listed not only in the Red Book of Ukraine, but also in the IUCN, CITES Red Lists. And as a species, it is subject to special protection under the Bern Convention.

The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra L.) belongs to the class Amphibia. The body is intensely black with yellow spots, the abdomen is solid black or with brown tones. The body is wide; the tail is shorter than the body, round in cross section. There are 4 digits on the forelimbs and 5 on the hindlimbs. The length of the body with the tail is 140-180 mm.

It is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine (conservation status – “vulnerable species”). The species is also listed in Appendix III of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (category “Protected Species”) and the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Endemic species

The Carpathian newt (Triturus montandoni Bout) is a small animal listed in the Red Book of Ukraine (conservation status – “vulnerable species”). It is endemic to the Carpathians and the Tatras. The length of the body (together with the tail) of males is about 75 mm, females – 80 mm. Unlike many other species of newts, males do not develop a dorsal crest, but instead they have a clearly visible (up to 5-8 mm) dark vertebral stripe, the length of which diminishes sharply up to 1mm after the end of breeding season, during the terrestrial stage. The colour is quite variable, but it often has yellow-brown and olive tones (females are a bit lighter); in the middle of the dorsal side there is a light stripe; on the sides of the body there are dark spots and dots; belly is orange to red without spots.

The western capercaillie (Tetrao urogalus Dombr.) is a bird species of the genus Tetrao, one of the largest birds of the Ukrainian Carpathians (body weight 2.5-6.5 kg, body length 60-87 cm, wingspan 87-125 cm). Adult male is black and brown, with a green metallic sheen on the crop and white lines on the chest; there is a red “eyebrow” of bare skin above the eye and a “beard” on the chin; there is a white spot on the wing root and small white spots on the tail; the beak is creamy white. Adult female is brown; feathers have whitish bordering; the crop is reddish; tail is rounded, reddish, with dark stripes; the beak is brown. The species is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine and the Bern Convention.

The snow vole (Chionomys nivalis ulpius Muller) is a relatively large gray-coloured long-tailed vole. Body length is 120-160 mm, foot – 19-23 mm. The fur is gray. It inhabits the area of crooked forests and alpine meadows, often in places with stone runs. It lives in burrows, active all year round in the evening and at night. The species is included in two editions of the Red Book of Ukraine, and Appendix II to the Bern Convention.