The most interesting are: - transitional peat bogs, low and high continental peat bogs, - unique flora, - animal species, most of them are very rare, their population is dependent on peat bogs and wetlands.
There are Plants: - there are about 1000 species of vascular plants including 170 rare species, 81 under a low protection, 15 species in the Polish Plant Red Data Book, - as many as 140 represent the plants typical of the northern zone vegetation cover (shrubby birch Betula humilis, Lapland willow Salix lapponum, whortle- berry willow Salix myryilloides- typical post- glacial relicts, - relicts from the glacial epoch include also Carex chorodrrhiza, mud sedge (Carex limosa), Charles sceptre (Pedicularis sceptrum- carolinum),Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), - the Atlantic relicts (approximately 25 species)- Hypochoeris glabra and Teesdalea nudicalis, - the mid-European flora (approximately 120 species), steppe Pontian and mountainous plants (Veratrum lobelianum) and Mediterranean species, - the carnivorous plants (8 species), sandews (Drosera), Pinguicula vulgaris bicolor, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, bladderworts (Utricularia),
Animals: - an interesting and rare species of animals: river otter, elk, beaver, European water-shrew, crane, black stork, white- tailed eagle, Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), corncrake (Crex crex), - 6 species of reptiles: European Pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), grass snake, common lizard, - 13 species of amphibians: Bufo calamita, Triturus, Bombina bombina, Hyla arborea and frogs: Rana temporaria, R. arvalis, R. lessonae, - in small water basins lives a very rare fish- lake minnow (Phoxinus percnuru) - invertebrate species: Euphydryas aurinia, Maculinea.
Some examples of protection programmes: PNP is conducting a biotope and population of European Pond turtle protection programme. PNP buys private lands where nests of turtles are located. During the autumn we dig up the eggs for incubating. Small turtle are set free next spring when they have a greater chance to survive. Population of European Pond turtle is estimated that approximately 400 of the adults.
Renaturalisation of water and peat bog ecosystem programme: This programme is in existence because ecosystems were threatened from land that was improperly drained for agriculture. Now we have built a network of dams and earthdyks whose aim is to increase the water level and to keep water in the PNP area. There are huge problems with peat bog forestation because of environmental changes (water quality and quantity) which brings: - common species bear down rare and threatened species, - common forest community with low natural values starts growing on this area, - worse biotic conditions especially light conditions, there are occurred close scrubs which are not profitable for light -loving species (Salix lapponum) so characteristic for open peat bogs, - decrease of biodiversity.
The main aim of PPN is protection from above mentioned threats and reduce results of these threats in natural environment, Realisation of cutting shrubs and mowing meadows helps to stop bad forest and shrubs expansion on the peat bog area and allows keeping unique values of these places.
Sustainable use – case study Meadow ecosystems (points according to nomination form)
1.Kinds of meadows: - One time hay-growing meadow: meadows with Molinietum: Dactylorhiza incarnata, Epipactis, Marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe), Gentiana uliginosa: peaty meadow and thermopilous - Two times hay- growing meadow: where live: lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), black- tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago); celery meadows which are very important-threaten species- Polygonum bistorta – host plant of rare butterflies.
Pictures of some plants Dactylorhisa incarnata Liparis loeselli
Part of meadow ecosystems, because of forsake using transformed into shrubs area. Poleski NP is trying to keep quantity of meadows on stable level (in order to keep natural values and stop decreasing area of meadow).
2.Main aim there is keeping specific and rare plant species, which grow on this area. Consumption and cash income are not priority of using this resource. In PNP there are 1595 ha meadows. Park actively manage 246 ha (this situation is changing year after year), 356 ha private meadows.
3.Meadows are situated in all area of PNP (huge mosaic of habitats). The broad ecological characteristic of the habitat in which meadows exist- wetlands.
4.Meadows in this area always (in different scale) were used by farmers (from 150 years people have changed hydrographic system in order to drainage for agriculture). Meadows are harvested (mowing) seasonally, mainly once a year during the summer after 15th of August, second part of them is harvesting two times per a year, first time after 1st of July, second in September.
5.Poleski National Park is responsible for the use of the meadows (except private area). Every year is prepared a timetable, which is accepted by Ministry of Environmental Protection. In the future is planned monitory system.
6.The meadows are mowing during late summer after bird nesting and earring plants. A lot of meadows plants and animals have stable status but some of them are threaten: - Pinguicula vulgaris bicolor, - Annual gentian (Gentiana amarella),
Pictures of some plants Pinguicula vulgaris bicolor Annual gentian (Gentiana amarella ),
7. The one of the biggest problem is of course financing problem, in Park there are not enough professional equipment (e.g. GPS) and modern geographic information system, old database).
8.Every year are realized action in order to protect meadow ecosystems which are financed by National Found of Environment Protection and Water Management, Voivodship Found of Environment Protection and Water Management. Poland joined to European Union and now farmers could use agro-environmental programs for protecting meadows (Park propagates these programs among the farmers). Now we can observe first effects, more farmers take on lease meadows.
9.Attached pictures were made by Andrzej Różycki- science worker of Poleski National Park.
10.Park directly does not use the following guidance: Ecosystem Approach, Addis Ababa guidelines, Akwe:Kon guidelines, Impact Assessment, and Indicator but every actions are managed in agreement with Convention on Biological Diversity and A national strategy for conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.