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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Czech Republic


© Photo: Jan W. Jongepier
  General Description   The Bílé Karpaty (or ‘White Carpathians’) Biosphere Reserve is an area of hills and uplands in the north-west of the Carpathian massif at the border to Slovakia. It was designated as biosphere reserve as it represents a cultural landscape with a rich biodiversity and traditional land use systems. Extensive species-rich orchid meadows (4,000 hectares), near-natural deciduous forests, old orchards and solitary fruit-trees form an integral part of the Bílé Karpaty landscape. Today, both intensive management and the abandonment of meadows cause threats to the biodiversity. The main aim of the biosphere reserve is to face these threats and to maintain traditional land use activities. Individuals, non-governmental organizations and former collective farms are involved in voluntary actions aimed at the restoration and traditional management of species-rich meadows in the core area of the biosphere reserve. A ‘sheep adoption project’ for example aimed at establishing a flock for the restoration of species-rich grasslands. In a special project, meadows are re-created on arable land by using local seed mixtures and methods for regrassing are tested in a large-scale experiment. Also a ‘genebank orchard’ was founded in the area, which comprises a three hectare area with over 500 trees, mostly pear, apple and plum. The aim is not only to preserve the old fruit varieties, but also to repatriate them to villages and landscape, e.g. by using them in the restoration of line-elements or ecological corridors.
About 66,000 people live in this rural area where agriculture, forestry and some trade and local industry are the major sources of income.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Species-rich grassland with many orchid species, among which Orchis mascula, O. militaris, O. morio, Gymnadenia conopsea, Traunsteinera globosa, and Dactylorhiza sambucina are most common; small marshes with Dactylorhiza majalis, D. incarnata and Epipactis palustris; semi-natural beech and oak-hornbeam forests with a rich vernal aspect; scenic areas with mosaic landcover including rare arable weeds; orchards with local and old fruit cultivars
  Location   48°44' to 49°10'N; 17°15' to 18°13'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   71,500
  Core area(s)   9,300
  Buffer zone(s)   36,756
  Transition area(s) when given   25,444
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +175 to +970
  Year designated   1996
  Administrative authorities   Správa Chránené krajinné oblasti (CHKO) Bílé Karpaty

Last updated: 28/02/2007

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