Nature Reserve in Olsztyn
Within the city boundaries there are two valuable nature reserves – areas of the protection of rare peat land vegetation: Mszar (of the area of 4 ha) and Redykajny (of the area of 10 ha), which have been taken a special care of since as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Both nature reserves are the home of plant species typical of peat land habitats: carexrostrata, carex heleonastes, alder forest, rare moss species. The tree frog – a well-known representative of protected amphibians,can be seen in the Redykajny nature reserve.
There are 32 swamps in the area of the Municipal Forest – they constitute part of the forest’s system of water retention. They are often devoid of water in dry periods, but during spring thaws these places sound with the croak of frogs, because they are the dream habitat for amphibian reproduction. The area between Gutkowo and the so called Swan Neck– a bay of Ukiel Lake is also fascinating for lovers of interesting plants and birds. This area, partly flooded, is the home of orchids, as well as the nesting of many bird species such as warbler, chaffinch, thrush, great spotted woodpecker, as well as white throats and buntings. The improving cleanness of the natural environment and obligatory ban on hunting game within the administrative boundaries of the city have made the Olsztyn woods a place where many species of wild animals find protection. It is possible to see wild boar, roe deer, foxes, raccoon dogs,hares, as well as beavers, and even elk and deer. Among smaller animals, worth mentioning are squirrels, martens and weasels. Many animals, mostly wild boar and foxes, are more and more frequently seen in urban areas, mainly near buildings neighbouring with forests. The proximity of people makes them look for food beyond their natural environment. Now and then, the municipal services are forced to transport them back to forest complexes more distant from Olsztyn for the sake of the safety of both the inhabitants and animals themselves. This forest is also a shelter for many legally protected animal species: toads, lizards and around 70 bird species.