Moldova is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south.
Phytogeographically, Moldova is split between the East European Plain and the Pontic–Caspian steppe of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. It is home to three terrestrial ecoregions: Central European mixed forests, East European forest steppe, and Pontic steppe. Forests currently cover only 11% of Moldova, though the state is making efforts to increase their range. It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 2.2/10, ranking it 158th globally out of 172 countries. Game animals, such as red deer, roe deer and wild boar can be found in these wooded areas.
The environment of Moldova suffered extreme degradation during the Soviet period, when industrial and agricultural development proceeded without regard for environmental protection. Excessive use of pesticides resulted in heavily polluted topsoil, and industries lacked emission controls.
Once possessing a range from the British Isles through Central Asia over the Bering Strait into Alaska and Canada's Yukon as well as the Northwest Territories, saigas survived in Moldova and Romania into the late 18th century. Deforestation, demographic pressure, as well as excessive hunting eradicated the native saiga herds which is currently threatened with extinction. They were considered a characteristic animal of Scythia in antiquity. Historian Strabo referred to the saigas as the kolos, describing it as 'between the deer and ram in size' which was believed to drink through its nose.
Another animal which was extinct in Moldova since the 18th century until recently was the wisent. The species was reintroduced with the arrival of three European bison from Białowieża Forest in Poland several days before Moldova's Independence Day on 27 August 2005. Moldova is currently interested in expanding their wisent population, and began talks with Belarus in 2019 regarding a bison exchange program between the two countries.