Big Chapelsk Depression

Big Chapeisk Depression
Big Chapeisk Depression
Big Chapeisk Depression
Big Chapeisk Depression
Big Chapeisk Depression
Big Chapeisk Depression

Big Chapelsk Depression

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    2,359 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    46°28'N 33°50'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site is a natural shallow depression filled by water from melted snow and rains in the Lower Dnieper region. It is covered with natural steppe vegetation and surrounded by arable land. The lake in the centre of the depression never dries up or freezes because of continuous water flow from underground artesian wells, and so it provides wintering opportunities for water birds such as mallard duck and geese. The Depression lies at a crossroads of bird migration routes in the northern Black Sea region, and more than 150,000 birds visit during their autumn and spring migrations. Among them, large flocks of white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), red-breasted goose (Branta ruficollis), and ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) feed during the daytime on the steppe and surrounding farmland and come back to rest at night at the Site. The adjacent Askania-Nova zoological park hosts many reintroduced indigenous species such as Przewalski’s horse (Equus przewalskii) and the European mouflon (Ovis ammon musimon). During the summer, animals from the zoo, including exotic species such as zebras and wildebeest, graze on the wetland meadows. In recent years this practice has intensified, posing a possible threat of overgrazing. Another threat is climate change, as weather patterns have already noticeably changed. Birdwatching, research and tourism are popular activities.

Administrative region: 
Chaplynka District of Kherson Oblast

  • Global international designation: 
    • UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • National legal designation: 
    • Biosphere Reserve - ‘Askania-Nova’
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • Other international designation
  • Last publication date: