Codri Forest Nature Reserve

The oldest natural reserve in Moldova – “Codri”, was founded in 1971 and occupies an area of ​​5177 ha. The relief has heights of a maximum 380 m, is intersected by countless valleys, ravines, ravines. Nature in the reserve amazes with the multitude of forms and species, many of them are passed to the rare and endangered category. In the natural reserve “Codri” there are almost 1000 varieties of protected plants, is half of the flora, characteristic of Moldova. In three functional areas of the reserve 225 species of vertebrate animals and 1178 invertebrate species were fixed. Of the vertebrates, 55 types are rare and 43 very rare. In the forests are found: red deer, wild cat, hawk, turtle dove, owl, viper, etc. Codrul (plural Codrii Moldovei) is one word that is often used in Moldova and represents massif forest located in the hilly centre of the Republic of Moldova, on the Plateau of Central Moldova, occupying approx. 40% of the surface of this high plateau. The forests mainly occupy the maximum altitudes, between 200 and 430 m. On August 8, the “Codrii” Reserve hosted the first edition of the “Straseni, mon amour” Festival – a social event to promote environmentally friendly local public services (waste collection, connection to the centralized water and sewerage system, etc.), transparency at LPA level, civic involvement. During the event, there were various activities, workshops, discussions, exhibitions and an ecological fair.

photo credit: Roman Friptuleac

📣Investment Agency ,, Invest Moldova ”in partnership with Agency“ Moldsilva ”, A.O Travel Forever and A.O Biotica started the Program for promoting the potential of Protected Natural Areas from a tourist point of view.
👉The program aims to stimulate the circuit of tourists in the Protected Natural Areas – in a responsible manner, to ensure the protection and conservation of ecosystems in those areas. – at the “Codrii” Reservation.

Beech Forest Nature Reserve in Moldova

The ,,Beech Forest Nature Reserve’’ was founded in 1991 for the purpose of protecting beech trees, even though the reserve regime had been introduced in 1976. It occupies the northwestern part of the Codrilor (forest area). The total area is 5642 ha, of which the forests occupy 4639 ha. Here are sectors where beech forests grow, unique in Moldova, which generally alternate with oak and hornbeam forests. Beech (Fagus) is a genus of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America. The European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is the most commonly cultivated, although few important differences are seen between species aside from detail elements such as leaf shape.  Beeches are monoecious, bearing both male and female flowers on the same plant. The small flowers are unisexual, the female flowers borne in pairs, the male flowers wind-pollinating catkins. They are produced in spring shortly after the new leaves appear. As a naturally growing forest tree, beech marks the important border between the European deciduous forest zone and the northern pine forest zone. This border is important for wildlife and fauna.

The flora of the reserve includes 903 species of plants. The forest vegetation is presented by forest massifs of beech, sessile oak, ash, hornbeam and to a lesser extent, pedunculate oak. Shrubs and grass cover are poorly developed. Of the rare and endangered plants, 74 species grow here. In these forests you can find the olive, the field grass, the cuckoo’s tongue, the little fish. The animal world is represented by 42 species of mammals and 110 types of sedentary and migratory birds.

The protected natural area is located in Ungheni district, near the village of Rădenii Vechi, in the Republic of Moldova.

The natural area is interesting and attractive from the point of view of the faunal complex, sheltering and providing living and feeding conditions for several species of mammals, birds and insects (the entomofauna complex is well represented in the Bîcului valley meadow), of which: The red deer (Cervus elaphus) is one of the largest deer species. A male red deer is called a stag or hart, and a female is called a hind. The red deer inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, Iran, and parts of western Asia. The European fallow deer or common fallow deer (Dama dama) is a species of ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. It is native to Turkey and possibly the Italian Peninsula, Balkan Peninsula, and the island of Rhodes in Europe, but has also been introduced to other parts of Europe and the rest of the world. The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine, common wild pig Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia and North Africa, and has been introduced to the Americas and Oceania. The species is now one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widespread suiform.It has been assessed as least concern on the IUCN Red List due to its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability to a diversity of habitats, Felis (catus) silvestris wild cat, and many other.

Few know that the river Bâc, a right tributary of the Dniester River, springs from the territory of the reserve. On the bank of the Bâc is the capital of the Republic of Moldova, the city of Chisinau, as well as the cities of Calarasi, Straseni, Bucovat and Vatra. The average annual water flow of the river is 1 m³ / sec, and the length is 155 km.

photo credit: Roman Friptuleac

Beleu Lake

In the Republic of Moldova, the natural heritage is represented by the System of state protected natural areas, which was approved by Law no. 1538-XIII of 25.02.1988 regarding the fund of natural areas protected by the state. In the lower course of the Prut River is located the Natural Reserve “Prutul de Jos” in english is Lower Prut, founded in 1991, based on Beleu lake, which is a relict of the Danube estuary. The protected area includes several gullies, divided into sectors that actually form 2 pond systems that are supplied from the waters of the Prut, so it also depends on its water level. The area is located within the village of Slobozia Mare, Cahul district. At the same time, it can be accessed from Valeni village. Ponds are part of the network of international importance RAMSAR, being one of the most important areas for the migration of waterfowl. Since 2018, the Lower Prut Scientific Reserve has received the rank of Biosphere Reserve, and is part of the UNESCO heritage. Located in the south of the country, this biosphere reserve comprises the Prut River and floodplains. Two thirds of the area is occupied by Lake Beleu (628 ha). Beleu lake is visited during the autumn and spring migration by a considerable number of species of aquatic and semi-aquatic birds ( around 20.000). Among the most popular are pelicans, egrets, swans and cormorants. Among the basic functions of the Lower Prut Scientific Reserve are the educational and popularization function of science and last but not least, the promotion of ecological tourism. Every year it is visited by groups of foreign tourists, pupils, students, scientific researchers, as well as teachers from all over the country. The reserve operates under the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, being administered by the Moldsilva Agency. According to the data provided, in the summer of 2020 the lake was visited by 1397 tourists, ranking second in the top of the reservations in the Republic of Moldova, following the Pădurea Domnească Scientific Reserve, ranked 1st, with 8,440 visitors.

Photo credit: Roman Friptuleac