Russians ignore fire on protected island of Dzharylhach

August 8,2023 623
Russians ignore fire on protected island of Dzharylhach

The environmentally-valuable steppe area has been burning for five days in the occupied Dzharylhach National Natural Park in the south of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group reports.

“A zone of absolute protection in the national park [is burning], where even human visits are restricted. The main part of all the steppe ecosystems of the island is concentrated here (the rest of the territory is swampy to varying degrees or is periodically flooded) and the population of all the rare steppe animals on the island,” the activists say.

The largest number of ungulates living in Dzharylhach is also concentrated in this territory. The activists added that this area received protection status as a reserve in 1974, 35 years before the national park’s creation.

Dzharylhach has been under Russian occupation since the first days of the full-scale invasion. “Undoubtedly, the fire, which no one is even trying to put out, will bring colossal losses to the island’s biodiversity,” the activists emphasize.

The Russians have been systematically destroying the unique nature of the protected island since February 24. The occupiers use the national park for military purposes. For this, they even covered the strip of water between the mainland and the island with sand.

The Ukrainian authorities also reported that the Russians were shooting representatives of the fauna on the island. Rare species of animals and plants may disappear in Dzharylhach due to the occupiers’ actions.

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