Bílé Karpaty

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.


Declaration Date: 1996
Surface Area: 71,500 ha
Administrative Division: South-east Moravia

Human Activities:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Hunting
  • Small industries
  • Scientific research
  • Recreation, tourism
  • Collecting herbs and mushrooms

Ecological Characteristics:

Biome: temperate broad-leaved forests
Elevation above sea level: 175–970 m
Climate: moderately warm and dry (SW) to moderately cool and wet (NE and higher elevations), annual temperature 6.8–8.9 °C, annual precipitation 553–901 mm

The Bílé Karpaty (White Carpathians) BR is a low-mountainous area stretching out along the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The area is particularly valuable for its species-rich grasslands, which cover over 4000 ha.

They host many orchids and other rare plant species, and attract a large number of insects. Its high level of biodiversity is ascribed to its position, enabling a blending of Carpathian and Pannonian species, in combination with long-term sustainable grassland management by the local people. Meadow orchards are a significant part of the landscape and its biodiversity.

They host a wide range of different old and local fruit cultivars. Other important habitats are old-growth beech forests and oakhornbeam forests. The area is rich in traditions and living folklore.

Protection Classification:

  • Protected Landscape Area (1980)
  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (2000)
  • Natura 2000 - 13 SCI (EU Habitat Directive)
  • 52 nature reserves

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