The Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve was created according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 174-2016 dated 26 April 2016 at the territory of Ivankiv and Polissia districts of Kyiv region within the Exclusion Zone and Zone of the Unconditional (Obligatory) Resettlement (EZ and ZU(O)R).
The objective of establishment of the Reserve is to conserve the most typical natural complexes of the Polissia in the natural state, to support and enhance the barrier function of the Chornobyl EZ and ZU(O)R, to stabilize the hydrological regime and to rehabilitate areas contaminated with radionuclides, to facilitate the organization and carrying out of the international scientific research.
The main tasks of the Reserve are as follows:
- Minimization of the environmental hazards and conservation of the natural resources of the EZ and ZU(O)R, prevention of the radionuclide emission outside the territory of the radioactive contamination zones;
- Recovery and conservation of the natural diversity of landscapes, the gene pool of flora and fauna of the Reserve, maintenance of the overall ecological balance;
- Periodic inventory of the natural resources, research of the phenomena and processes occurring in the ecosystems of the Reserve;
- Implementation of the ecological, medical and biological and radiation monitoring of the territory;
- Scientific research in the field of the environmental protection;
- Protection of the territory of the Reserve with all natural objects;
- Maintenance of the territory in the proper sanitary and fire-safe condition; organization of fire protection of the natural complexes;
- Ecological and educational work, etc.
The area of the Reserve is 226,964.7 ha.
The territory of the Reserve is characterized by eight types of landscapes, a large number of wetlands and meadow lands, about 30 types of forest vegetation, 23 upland and 7 aquatic phytocomplexes, 12 upland and 8 aquatic zoocomplexes.
Flora: 1228 species of higher vascular plants, of which: 5 species of club moss, 6 species of horsetails, 13 species of funguses, 7 species of clavaria, 269 species of monocotyledonous, and 928 of dicotyledonous. The Red Data Book of Ukraine includes 60 species of vascular plants, and the Red List of the International Union of Conservation of Nature includes 21 species of them. Among the rare species is pasqueflower, snowdrop, hazel grouse, club moss, aconite, spring snowflake, Siberian iris, pussy willow, etc.
Fauna: the total number of the registered vertebrate animals is 339 species, 60 species of them are fish, 12 species are amphibians, 7 species are reptiles, 202 species are birds, and 58 species are mammals. 58 species are listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine, among the rare species are Ukrainian lamprey, smooth snake, scapula, dove-hawk, blackcock, stork black, white-tailed eagle, barbastelle European, brown bear, lynx, otter, Przewalski horse, bison, etc.