Bialowieza National Park
Bialowieza National Park was founded in 1921 covering the area of 10502 ha, including the nature preserve with the area of 4747 ha. In 1977 UNESCO recognized the Park as the World Reserve of Biosphere and in 1979 the Bialowieza National Park was put on the List of the World Heritage Site.
The park is the best preserved fragment of the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest of original character, strictly protected which together with Swislocka and Ladzka Forests constitute one of the biggest (1450 km2) and at the same time the most coherent, varied and well preserved natural forest complex on the European lowland.
The flora is much varied. There are around 40 natural plant associations, including 22 forest-brushwood associations. The flora comprises around 3 thousand species, including: 630 vascular plants, 80 species of mosses, 81 species of the liverworts, 210 species of lichens and over 2000 species of fungi. In the park there are 47 legally protected species. The stands are built mainly by spruces (24%), pines (9%), oaks (18%), alders (13%), horn-beams (11%), ash-trees (8%) and lime trees (8%). 1565 monuments of nature have been found here, mainly oaks.
The fauna is composed of almost 10 thousand species, including: 44 species of mammals, 120 breeding birds species, 7 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians and around 8500 species of insects. Some of them have here the only locality in Poland and are relics of primeval forests. The wisent population (1993) has over 500 specimens. In the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest there live 227 of them and in the Belarus part – 315.
In the Park there is a Show Reserve of wisents, tarpans and other mammals. There is also a Natural Museum and 6 research institutes editing 4 specialistic magazines.