The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a government sanctuary in the southern Ukraine (Kherson Oblast), 60 km southeast of Kakhovka (a harbor on the Dnieper). Located on a mountain slope of the Bol’shoi Chapel’skii Pod (hence the original name of the sanctuary—Chapli). Askaniia-Nova was created to preserve the virgin massif of feather-grass and fescue steppe wilderness. The area of protected steppe wilderness is 11,000 hectares (ha) (1967), 1,560 ha of which are absolute sanctuary.

Askaniia-Nova has been in existence since 1828. Until the Great October Socialist Revolution, it was a large sheep farm with a private zoo begun by F. E. Fal’ts-Fein in 1875. By a decree of the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) of the Ukraine on Apr. 1, 1919, Askaniia-Nova was declared a people’s park-sanctuary, and in 1921, a government steppe sanctuary. The purpose of the sanctuary was to preserve and study the steppe wilderness and its wildlife and to protect, acclimatize, and study, under steppe conditions, the greatest possible number of species of plants and animals having economic importance. A steppe research station, a zoo, a botanical garden, and a zootechnical station with a pedigree stock farm were created in and near the sanctuary. In 1932 the sanctuary also became the base for the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for the Acclimatization and Hybridization of Animals, which in 1956 was converted into the M. F. Ivanov Ukrainian Institute for Animal Breeding in the Steppe Regions (Askaniia-Nova).

A unique collection of wild animals from different countries is accommodated in the acclimatization zoo: antelopes, bison, aurochs, zebras, llamas, and deer; birds include African ostriches, rheas, emus, cassowaries, swans, flamingos, and cranes; Przhevalsky’s horse is also bred successfully. Hybridization experiments are being conducted. Methods of free and semifree keeping of wild animals are widely practiced in Askaniia-Nova, which permits the study and control of the complex processes by which the animals adapt to their new environmental conditions.

Also of great value is the botanical garden, in which successful experiments are being conducted to acclimatize over 120 species of trees and shrubs (including the ash, false acacia, and pedunculate oak) to the conditions of the arid south. The planting of trees and creation of ponds in the southern steppe have made Askaniia-Nova a haven providing forests and water for various birds that were previously not found in the area and now use it for nesting and stopovers during migration.


Bannikov, A. G. Po zapovednikam Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moscow, 1966.
Trudy nauchno-issledovatel’ skogo instituta gibridizatsii i ak-klimatizatsii zhivotnykh Askaniia-Nova imeni akad. M. F. Ivanovo, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1935–49.




an urban-type settlement in Chaplinsk Raion, Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, 76 km from the Novoalekseevka railroad station. Population, 3,200 (1968). The M. F. Ivanov Ukrainian Institute for Animal Breeding in the Steppe Regions (“Askaniia-Nova”) is located here. There is also a museum of the flora and fauna of the southern Ukraine.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.