The Wigry National Park
The Wigry National Park was established on January 1st 1989, as the 15th National Park in Poland. It was created on an surface of 14 956 hectares. Nowadays its area consists of 15 089.79 hectares.
The first attempts of protecting the nature of the Wigry area date back to the 1920. In 1921, Kazmierz Kulwiec designed a project of a nature reserve containing lake Wigry and the surrounding forests.
The Wigry National Park is located at the northern edge of the Augustow forest, which is the fourth largest forest complex in Poland.
When it comes to the climate, the Park is located in the Mazury-Podlasie region, containing the eastern part of the Pojezierze Mazurskie and part of Podlasie. Despite not being far from the Baltic Sea, the entire region stays under the major influence of the continental block of Eurasia, which extends far to the east.
In geobotanical terms, the Wigry National Park represents the region of north-eastern Europe, which is characterized by domination of pine-spruce coniferous forests. Among the plants growing in the park, 75 taxa is under species protection, with 61 being under strict protection and 14 under partial protection. There are 22 types of orchids living in the park, including the critically endangered honeysuckle and the hooded cuckoo. In the early 21st century, a project was realized, which was aimed to resettle 50 specimens from their maternal homes to newly selected places.
There were about 300 animals species found in the park’s area, including 32 types of fish, 12 types of amphibians, 5 types of reptiles, 205 types of birds and 46 types of mammals.
Some of the especially protected species of animals are the beavers.
The first beaver home in the area that currently lies within the border of the park was discovered in the estuary of Czarna Hańcza from The Wigry Lake between 1944 and 1949
As of the mid-1990s there were 250 beavers living in the park and since then, the park keeps a similar number of these animals