The Red Book of Belarus is a list of plant and animal species threatened with complete extinction or such a threat may arise as a result of systematic extermination of their representatives. Collecting plants samples and hunting for representatives of fauna, which are listed there, is strictly prohibited.
An interesting fact from VETLIVA: The Red Book of the Republic of Belarus includes not only species which are in danger of extinction. It also contains a "black list" - a list of those representatives of flora and fauna that are no longer found in Belarus.
The Council of Ministers of the BSSR made the decision to establish the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus in 1979. For the time of its existence the Red Book was republished a several times and each edition was supplemented with new species and excluded some old ones that were no longer threatened:
1. The first one-volume edition was published in 1981, listing 80 fauna species and 85 flora species.
2. The next edition of the Red Book (1993) became a two-volume edition. The list was expanded and enlarged.
3. The third edition was published in Russian in 2006. It includes 189 animal and 274 plant species, 24 lichen and 29 fungi. Some of them have been removed over time, and some species threatened with annihilation have been added:
- 63 new species were added to the "Fauna" section, while 57 species were excluded,
- 91 new species were added to the section "Flora", and 31 species were excluded, 4 species of lichens were excluded and 11 were added, 3 mushroom species were excluded and 15 other species were added.
Interesting fact from VETLIVA: You don't have to go to the library to find out which species are endangered. For more than 10 years, since 2007, the full version of the Red Book has been available online.
The Red Book of Belarus: species and categories of environmental significance
There are four different categories of threat to the flora and fauna of Belarus:
- Category I - it is assigned to species that are threatened with complete extinction in the near future. These species can be repopulated only with the help of humans, in the course of a developed complex of measures. This category includes representatives of flora and fauna of key importance for the nature of Belarus.
- Category II includes those species whose numbers are gradually declining and may become fully extinct in the future (in the absence of a current direct threat).
- Category III is assigned to species which may hypothetically become extinct in the future.
- Category IV consists of species not included in the risk groups of the first three paragraphs.
The Red Book of Belarus: Animals
The animals in The Red Book of Belarus are not limited to the well-known aurochs, which people come to see in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and other national parks of Belarus.
Even the animals that seem to be not so rare are under threat:
- The lynx (if you haven't been to Gomel yet, let us remind you that this is the animal depicted on the city's coat of arms above the Sozh);
- The brown bear,
- The badger,
- The short-eared owl,
- The black stork,
- The Siberian flying squirrel, etc.
VETLIVA warns: if you go fishing (for example, for aholiday at a farmstead) don’t forget to read the list of fish in the Red Book. Remember: Ignorance of the law doesn’t exempt you from responsibility!
What could be better than bringing home and putting in a vase a bouquet of fragrant wildflowers in summer! However, remember that even a seemingly innocuous plant can end up in the Red Book.
Among the most famous of them are:
European white water lily,
Pulsatilla pratensis, etc.
VETLIVA advices: Don’t destroy beautiful plants! After all, they will please you with their blooming for a few days at most. It is better to go on an excursion to the Berezinskiy Biosphere Reserve. The excursion along the ecotrail will give you unforgettable emotions and impressions! Moreover, you can capture with a camera the beauty of the flowers growing there and admire them on arrival as much as you like!