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

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