Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia nominated natural resources Nature Park "Stara Planina" and landscape Zaovine for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under the UNESCO program "Man and Biosphere" (MAB), due to their natural resources.
NATURE PARK "Stara Planina" recognizable by its diverse geological structure with dominant rocks of red sandstone with a developed specific world of flora and fauna is located in eastern Serbia. The landscape of the Park is dominated by slightly wavy plateau pastures intersected by streams which often turn to rapids and cascading and waterfall fractions. The diversity of wild flora and fauna is featured by the presence of 1200 species and sub-species of higher plants, approximately 200 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles and 26 species of fish. Cultural and historic features of the area include monumental medieval heritage dating back from the period of Branković. Based on the Institute’s Conservation Study, Stara Planina was proclaimed a Nature Park in the total area of 114,332 hectares, as a Category I natural resource of great importance. This proclamation established the largest natural resource in Serbia which was also proposed for conservation at the global level as the Biosphere reserve (UNESCO, MAB).
LANSCAPE ZAOVINE is located in Western Serbia, on the southern slopes of Tara mountain in forested highland area. Zaovine is particularly famous as the site where Josif Pančić, in 1875, discovered spruce (Picea omorika), a living fossil of flora. This area has 55 species on the Preliminary Red List of the Flora of Serbia and 25 plant species of international importance, 108 species of birds, 14 species of fish, 6 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles and 36 species of mammals. The most significant representative of insects is the relic and endemic species of Pančić’s grasshopper (Pyrgomorphulla serbica). In its Conservation Study the institute valorised Zaovine in the area of approximately 6.300 hectares (settlement Zaovine, four lakes and Beli Rzav canyon), which shall be protected within National Park "Tara" and thus proposed for conservation at the global level as a part of a transboundary biosphere reserve "Drina", which includes part of the territory of Serbia and Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNESCO, MAB).