GB No. 1(16)/95


Białowieża National Park was founded in 1921 covering the area of 5346 ha, including a natural monument forest reserve with the area of 4747 ha. In 1977 UNESCO recognized the Park as the World Reserve of Biosphere and in 1979 the Białowieża National Park was put on the List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

7 he park is the best preserved fragment of the Polish part of the Białowieża Forest of original character, strictly protected which together with ¦wisłocka and Ladzka Forests constitute one of the biggest (1450 km2) and at the same time the most coherent, varied and well preserved natural forest complexes on the European lowland.

The flora is much varied. There are about 40 natural plant groups, including 22 forestthicket groups. The flora comprises about 2', thousand species, including: 632 vascular', plants, 80 species of mosses, 81 species of the liverworts, 210 species of lichens and over 1000 species of fungi. In the park there are 47 legally protected species. Among the trees there are: spruces (24%), pines (9%), oaks (18%) alders (13%), horn-beams (11%), ashtrees (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 species of birds of breeding, 7 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians and about 8500 species of insects. Some of them have here the only locality in Poland and are relicts of primeval forests. The aurochs (Polish bison) population (1993) has over 500 specimens. In the Polish part of the Białowieża Forest there live 227 of them and in the White Russian part-315.

In the Park there is a Show Reserve of aurochses, tarpans and other hoofed mammals. There is also a Natural Museum and 6 research institutes editing 4 specialistic magazines.

reprinted from Polskie Parki Narodowe
(Polish National Parks)

GB No. 1(16)/95 | Contents