Advancement of the project

One of the first steps of this conservation project was the identification of private vulnerable natural forests, having a primary structure in order to set up the conditions for conservation involvement and preservation by Vita Sylvae Foundation.

For achieving present results we have evaluated several private and vulnerable primary forests (in total, 11 locations were evaluated on field):

  • we had several meetings with relevant stakeholders
  • we have collected and processed information in order to identify locations of private primary forest
  • we have identified the exact status of ownership
  • we have organised field trips for: GIS mapping, forest descriptions (accessibility, biodiversity, composition, type of forest habitat, protection status, etc)

Several criteria have been defined for the characterization of the visited forests:

  1. Naturalness (authenticity) criteria:
    • if the phytocenosis is formed of local/site-specific species
    • if there are specific animal species (from information and own observations)
    • if human influence is pretty much negligible. The ecosystem structure & dynamics was not significantly influenced by human activities
    • if the ecosystems have complex structures and different (all) development stages on small areas, forming as a whole a mosaic structure landscape (on horizontally). The diversity of ages & dimensions
    • existing trees who reached the physiological age limit in the local stationary conditions. Most often they will have exceptional dimensions
    • if dead wood occur, standing or on the ground in all stages of wood decay and all over the forest. Quantity of deadwood has to be evaluated depend on ecosystem structure and stationary conditions
  2. Site location criteria:
    • if the range area with virgin forests is larger than 50 ha in a compact location to ensure self-regulation and perpetuation of the forest ecosystem
    • if the forest has natural limits as much as possible (e.g. peaks, valleys, streams, forest edge) to provide additional stability against external abiotic factors

Check out on Google maps the area of the forests identified by Vita Sylvae Conservation:

  • zone 1, a beautiful 60 hectares forest
  • zone 2, a primary forest of impressive dimensions beech
  • zone 3, the habitat of a large variety of trees
  • zone 4, the last areas of primary forest for the Botiza community
  • zone 5, a forest accessible to all types of visitors, with very old trees, sometimes reaching huge sizes