Monday, 24 October 2011

Nature Protection: Šumava - UNESCO Biosphere Reserve


The Šumava Biosphere Reserve is to preserve the typical Šumava landscape and all of its traditional elements including the way of its cultivation. The biosphere reserve is located in the mountain area along the Austrian and Bavarian borders with the Czech Republic. The entire region was affected by human activities (such as gold mining, glass industry) and frequently used from as early as the 10th century. Šumava is also the last big central European area with an extensive way of using. The area abounds in ancient mountain forests, lakes of glacial origin, peat bogs, rivers and their canyons and similar values that have been preserved until the present day.

Unlike the Šumava National Park with a higher percentage of forest (83.8%), forests (flower and acidophilic beech woods, mountain spruce woods, wetland pine woods) are present in more than 65% of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve. Local peat bogs are clearly the highlight of the area. The plains that cover the central part of Šumava at more than 1,000 meters above the sea level are also extensively used. The vast area is used as meadows or pasture land.

A large number of rare animals, such as Northern birch mouse (Sicista betulina) or the imported Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), live in the area. Prominent wild birds include wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix). The Blanice river headwater area has the highest presence of freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) in the Czech Republic.

The Šumava-UNESCO Biosphere Reserve miniature sheet is the final one of the present series of six sheets featuring Czech biosphere reserves.This sheet was issued on 31. 8. 2011

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