Drawienski National Park
Drawienski National Park was established in 1990 and protects an area of 11,019 ha, of which 82 percent are forests and 10 percent are water. It includes a part of the Drawa Primeval Forest, located in the central district of the Walecko-Mysliborskie Lakeland. In January 1996, a special protective zone of 35,590 ha surrounding the Park, was established. The Park area may be accessed from ca. 60 km of tourist trails and routes, which include the Drawa River route. The lower section of this river (about 30 km) is one of the best known canoeing runs in Poland.
The symbol of the Park is the otter (Lutra lutra), which is quite frequent in this part of Poland.
The landscape of the area was shaped during the last stage of the Vistulian glaciation. The Park covers the middle sector of the Drawa River with the lower part of its left tributary -the Plociczna River- and a complex of post-glacial lakes. These rivers and lakes have water of the first and highest class of purity. The Drawa River has a character of the mountain river due to rapidity of its current. The 13 lakes of the Park are joined by the Plociczna River. Although they are of various character, most of them are ribbon lakes. Various types of lakes, such as eutrophic, calcium with stonewort meadows at the bottom, and lakes overgrown with lobelia and moss, exist in the Park due to the natural processes that occur in the water. Such a growth found in lakes prove that their waters are exceptionally pure, and that pollution of the watershed is insignificant.
Protected forests make up a part of the larger complex known as the Drawa Primeval Forest. Among the 140 plant communities of the Park there are 18 forest and brushwood communities. Mixed forests and coniferous forest biotopes predominate in the Park. Pine, beech, oak and alder, mixed with spruce, larch, birch, hornbeam and aspen, can be found most frequently there. In the eastern part of the Park, pine high forests prevail. In its western part, the main types are beech forests, hornbeam dry forests with occasional oaks, marshy and aspen forests. In the forests, there are numerous monumental 450-year old oaks, 140-year old pines and 350-year old beech trees.
The flora of the Drawienski National Park is represented by over 800 species of vascular plants including 43 species under protection, among others leather leave, wild pepper, Martagon lily and orchid, as well as over 200 species of fungi.
The fauna of the Park consists of at least 40 mammal species, and includes beaver, marten, otter, and game animals such as the deer, wild boar and fox. The birds inhabiting the Park include osprey, kite, white-tailed eagle, lesser spotted eagle, goldeneye, merganser, eagle owl, other species of owl, black stork and dipper (water ouzel, Cinclus cinclus). The aquatic fauna includes numerous fish such as bream, perch, grayling, pikes, lavaret, European white fish, bulltrout, barbel, eel and vimba, as well as the recently restored salmon, which lives only in very clean water.
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