Białowieża Forest World Heritage Site

Old forest in Poland and Belarus

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Białowieża Forest[1]
Puszcza Białowieska  (Polish)
Белавежская пушча (Belarusian)
Biełaviežskaja Pušča
Беловежская пуща (Russian)
Belovezhskaya pushcha
Bialowieza National Park in Poland0029.JPG
Fallen tree in the Białowieża Forest
Map showing the location of Białowieża Forest[1]
Map showing the location of Białowieża Forest[1]
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Map showing the location of Białowieża Forest[1]
Map showing the location of Białowieża Forest[1]
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LocationGrodno and Brest regions, Belarus
Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
Nearest cityHajnówka, Poland
Coordinates52°45′8″N 23°52′45″E / 52.75222°N 23.87917°E / 52.75222; 23.87917Coordinates: 52°45′8″N 23°52′45″E / 52.75222°N 23.87917°E / 52.75222; 23.87917
Area3,085.8 km2 (1,191.4 sq mi)
Established11 August 1932
Governing bodyMinistries of the Environment of Belarus and Poland
CriteriaNatural: ix, x
Inscription1979 (3rd session)
Extensions1992, 2014

Białowieża Forest (Belarusian: Белавежская пушча, Biełaviežskaja Pušča; Polish: Puszcza Białowieska  Polish pronunciation: [ˈpuʂt͡ʂa ˌbʲawɔˈvʲɛska] (About this soundlisten); Russian: Беловежская пуща, Belovezhskaya Pushcha) is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain. The forest is home to 800 European bison, Europe's heaviest land animal.[2] UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme designated the Polish Biosphere Reserve Białowieża in 1976[3] and the Belarusian Biosphere Reserve Belovezhskaya Puschcha in 1993.[4] In 2015, the Belarusian Biosphere Reserve occupied the area of 216,200 ha (2,162 km2; 835 sq mi), subdivided into transition, buffer and core zones.[5] The forest has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site[6] and an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation. The World Heritage Committee by its decision of June 2014 approved the extension of the UNESCO World Heritage site "Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Białowieża Forest, Belarus, Poland", which became "Białowieża Forest, Belarus, Poland".[7] It straddles the border between Poland (Podlaskie Voivodeship) and Belarus (Brest and Grodno voblasts), and is 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of Brest, Belarus and 62 kilometres (39 miles) southeast of Białystok, Poland. The Białowieża Forest World Heritage site covers a total area of 141,885 ha (1,418.85 km2; 547.82 sq mi).[8] Since the border between the two countries runs through the forest, there is a border crossing available for hikers and cyclists.

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