Roztoczański Park Narodowy  
Plażowa 2 22-470 Zwierzyniec  

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About Park


The Roztocze National Park is situated in the Central Roztocze. It was established in 1974 and now covers an area of 8,481.76 ha, 92 % of which is occupied by forests. An area of more than 880 ha (approx. 10 %) of the Park's forest is under protection. It is surrounded by a 38,000 ha-large protection zone.


The Roztocze is located in an area which separates the old geological sediments of the East-European Platform from the younger deposits of Western Europe. It was of great significance to the formation of the European continent. The Roztocze remains geologically active, rising by nearly 2 mm a year.

The relief of the Central Roztocze is diversified. Limestone hill ranges of an altitude up to 350 m a.s.l., overgrown with magnificent forests with ploughland enclaves intertwine with valleys strewn with post-glacial sands.

The geological diversity, rich surface features, the hydrographic, climatic and soil conditions acount for the presence of as many as 47 plant assemblages (19 forest and 28 non-forest ones) in the area. The most precious of them include fir coniferous forest and Carpathian beech wood, characteristic of the lower forest zone of the Carpathian Mountains.

The forest of the Park is characterised by a high growth dynamics and longevity, as well as by a large size of the trees, many of which are of nature monuments. Pine, fir and beech are the prevalent species. Among the remaining 30 indigenous tree species, oak, alder, linden, birch, spruce, larch, hornbeam, sycamore, ash-tree and maple-tree are the most numerous. For many of them (e.g. fir and beech) this is the range of their dense occurrence.


The flora of the Park is rich and varied. Its more than 700 vascular plant species include plants typical of lowland areas, as well as mountain species (Manchurian monkshood, toothwort), northern species (twin-flower), south-eastern species (European bugbane, ground clematis) and Atlantic species (long-leaved sundew, marsh club-moss) may be encountered, depending on the biotope and the surface features. Among the rare and protected species, the most noteworthy ones include: garlic (Alium victorialis) and ram-son (A. ursinum), snowdrop windflower, three sundew species, numerous orchid species, the most beautiful of them being the ladies' slipper.



Toothwort

The fauna of the Park is equally abundant. There are all animals typical of the forest: deer, roe deer, wild pig, wolf, lynx, fox, badger, common marten, and otter in the proximity of water. Elk is observed seasonally. Protected insectivorous mammals (shrews), rodents from the dormice family (common dormouse, fat dormouse) and bats are numerous.

In 1979 beavers (once present in the area) were introduced, and in 1982 a refuge of the Polish pony (descendant of the tarpan and native breeds) was established.

Among the more than 210 bird species, about 130 nest regularly in the area of the Park (among others: lesser-spotted eagle, honey buzzard, black stork, white-backed woodpecker, collared and red-breasted flycatcher).

Reptile species include numerous lizards, with the turquoise limbless lizard, grass snake, common northern viper, smooth snake and mud turtle. The occurrence of the once present Aesculapian snake has not been confirmed.

Amphibians are represented by newts, fire-bellied toads, garlic toad, tree frog, green and brown frogs.



Tree frog

The world of invertebrates abounds in molluscs, myriapods, arachnids and insects, which testifies to the uniqueness of the Park's nature by both local and European standards.

For nearly 400 years (until the end of World War II), the present-day forests of the Park were part of the Zamoyski Estate. In 1934, the first reserve, named "Bukowa Góra," was set up in the area. In 1938, the first Polish directive on the protection of predatory birds was issued here. After the war, between 1954-1974, 11 reserves were established, later incorporated into the Park.

The fortunes of the local inhabitants have long been connected with the area of the present-day Park. During the wars, forest provided shelter and was the site of many battles, while in time of peace it fed the people and was a source of timber. The many forest graves and monuments from various periods of the Polish history in Zwierzyniec and its vicinity testify to the turbulent past of the land.


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