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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Babia Gora Biosphere Reserve is the second highest mountain massif in Poland and is situated in the Beskids Mountains. Its highest peak reaches 1,725 meters above sea level and forms a watershed between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea basins. Four habitats, changing with altitude, are represented in the biosphere reserve: the lower forest belt (up to 1,150 meters), the upper forest belt (up to 1,390 meters), the dwarf pine belt (up to 1,650 meters) and the alpine belt (up to 1,725 meters).
The biosphere reserve was extended as a result of the periodic review in year 2000. It now includes a state forest oriented to near-natural forest management, as well as inhabited areas.
The Babia Gora Mountain ridge was a state border until 1918 and the communities living on the different sides of the massif have developed independently, giving rise to different architecture, folklore, clothing and dialects. The main economic activities are agriculture, cattle breeding, forestry, carpentry and agro-tourism. The biosphere reserve has only 20 inhabitants, however some 56,000 visitors annually spend their holidays in the area (2001). Babiogórski National Park, which covers the core area of the biosphere reserve, has a visitor center organizing educational programmes and guided tours for both visitors and locals.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Lower forest belt (up to +1,150 m) characterized by Carpathian beech forest (Dentario glandulosae - Fagetum), fir forest (Galio - Abietetum), mixed fir and spruce forest (Abieti - Picetum montanum) etc.; upper forest belt (+1,150 to +1,390 m) with Picetum excelsae carpaticum; subalpine belt (1390-1650 m) dwarf pine thicket with Pinetum mughi carpaticum, Adynostyletum alliariae, Petasitetum kabilkiani, Vaccinium myrtillus etc.; alpine belt (+1,650 to +1,725m) with Deschampsio-Luzuletum and Junco trifidi - Festucetum supinae; residential areas; agroecosystems; pasture land
  Location   49°28' to 49°38'N; 19°27' to 19°38'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   11,829
  Core area(s)   1,062
  Buffer zone(s)   2,330
  Transition area(s) when given   8,437
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +620 to +1,725
  Year designated   1976, extension 2001
  Administrative authorities   Babia Gora National Park

Last updated: 09/03/2005

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