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Askania-Nova is a biosphere reserve located in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, within the dry Tauridaa steppet near Oleshky Sands. The reserve consists of a zoological park, a botanical garden, and an open territory of virgin steppes.
The nature reserve was established in 1898 by Friedrich-Jacob Eduardovyc Falz-Fein (1863–1920) around the German colony of Askania-Nova, which only in 1890 became an organized settlement, Khutir.
In 1983, Askania-Nova was reorganized into a biosphere reserve and the following year it was designated as the Soviet member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO. After the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1993, Ukraine confirmed the status of the biosphere reserve Askania-Nova.
The reserve consists of the acclimatization zoo, arboretum 2.1 km², and virgin steppe 110 km², the last such area in Europe and has total area of 825 km² . In addition to local species it hosts ostriches, bison, antelopes, wild horses, llamas, zebras and many bird species. More than 200 species of foliaceous and coniferous plants were brought from different parts of the world and planted in the dendrologic garden during 1885 – 1902. About 600 higher plants ,16 species of which were entered to the Red Data Book of Ukraine, have been preserved in their primary natural form. The reserve is known for a group of Przewalski's Horse, the largest group kept in captivity, living on area around 30 km² .