The National Park Belaweschskaja Puschtscha in Belarus (9/12)

In the White Russian Belovezhskaya Puscha National Park a group of bison are suddenly spotted standing in a clearing. That these colossal animals exist at all is a borderline miracle, particularly since in 1920, the European bison was thought to be already extinct. As a result of a unique international breeding program, it has proved possible to rescue the species with the assistance of a few zoo animals, whose descendants have been released into the wild, in suitable forests. Some 300 bison now roam through the Belovezhskaya Puscha park between Grodno and Brest. Part of the last large-scale lowland forest in Europe, which was placed under protection as long ago as 1929, now belongs to the much smaller Bialowieza National Park in Poland. The centuries-old forest has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. The documentary tells of the lives of the bison and of other rare and threatened species here. Under the thick canopy of huge trees, the lesser spotted eagle cares for her young. A family of great grey owls has set up home in the abandoned nest of a bird of prey. The aquatic warbler - an unprepossessing, shy bird - raises its young in the lower moors. Two thirds of the world's population of this bird hatch here in White Russia. Where the thick forest thins out, an amazing variety of mosses, lichens, fungi and berries flourish. Several thousand people from all across the world visit the Belovezhskaya Puscha National Park in the southwest of Belarus every year. In the fairy-tale village where "Father Frost" lives, another special attraction awaits the visitors: all year round, Belarus' own Father Christmas is on hand to accept wish lists from all the girls and boys.

The following episodes are available:

  • The National Park Slitere in Latvia, 45' only (HD)
  • The National Park Sumava in Czech Republic, 45' only (HD)
  • The National Park Lagodechi in Georgia (HD)
  • The National Park Belaweschskaja Puschtscha in Belarus (HD)
  • The National Park Pirin in Bulgaria
  • The National Park Kornati in Croatia
  • The National Park Volga Delta in Russia
  • The National Park Biebrza in Poland
  • The National Park High Tatra in Slovakia
  • The National Park of Kiskunsag in Hungary
  • The National Park of Vilsandi in Estonia