Western Caucasus Nature Reserve is the only large mountain area in Europe without significant human impact. The nature reserve comprises a unique group of mountains and alpine ecosystems. The area ranges from lowlands to glaciers and it is the habitat to exceptionally wide range of animal and vegetable species. It has been inhabited by nearly 100 species of mammals, 250 bird species and a number of invertebrates. In almost all areas of Western Caucasus Nature Reserve, there are endemic species of animals and plants. The protection of Western Caucasus Nature Reserve is primarily focused on large mammals, such as the European bison, deer, brown bears, chamois and lynx, but there are many other valuable and rare species, such as the leopard or brown bear as well. The area is an important point on migratory routes of birds. Major habitats are steep mountain forests with Caucasian fir, oriental beech, chestnut, oriental spruce and Iberian oak. There is an unusual high number of species of ferns, rhododendrons and orchids growing in the reserve. The area became the natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.