Polesie National Park
The Park was established in 1990 with the area of 9648 ha, of which 41% is covered by forests. Polesie National Park is situated on the eastern confines of Poland, in the central part of Leczynsko – Wlodawskie Lake District, where one of the last European peat and swamp areas remained, representing a minature form of European tundra and forest-tundra. The mosaic landscape consists of intermingled water, peat and thicket-forest ecosystems.
The flora is extremely diversified. 208 plant groups have been distinguished here. The forest communities are represented mainly by mixed and swamp forests as well as alder swamps and willow-alder buckthorn thickets. There are also water, rush and temporary peatbog communities, e.g. a rare group of Caricetum chordorrhizae and Caricetum heleonastes, as well as high and wet meadows.
There are around 930 species of vascular plants in the Park, including 58 protected species, 170 rare species and 140 northern ones, e.g. the whortleberry willow Salix myrtylloides. The fauna comprises 36 species of mammals (e.g. the otter and the wolf); around 150 species of birds of breeding, e.g. two dying out ones: the hen harrier Circus cyaenus and the red-footed falcon Falco vespertinus, 15 endangered species, e.g. the aquatic warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Among reptiles there is the European pond tortoise Emys orbicularis among amphibians the natter jack Bufo calamita and among 40 species of fish – the legally protected minnow Phoxinus. The zoo-plankton of the lakes consists of 265 species, including 18 new for Poland and around 45 rare ones. The main danger for the Park are shafts of the “Bogdanka” Mine in the neighborhood.