Old bent hornbeam trees in autumnal landscape of primeval deciduous stand of Bialowieza Forest

- Image ID: FA8W8W
Aleksander Bolbot / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: FA8W8W
Białowieża Forest (Belarusian: Белавежская пушча, Biełaviežskaja Pušča; Polish: Puszcza Białowieska Polish pronunciation: [ˈpuʂt͡ʂa ˌbʲawɔˈvʲɛska] ( listen); 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. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) designated the Polish Biosphere Reserve Białowieża in 1976 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. The forest has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site 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”. It straddles the border between Poland (Podlaskie Voivodeship) and Belarus (Brest Voblast and Hrodna Voblast), 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).