A forest with a 430-year old spruce is now protected in Slovakia



Posted on 05 February 2014  | 
old-growth forest in Slovakia
Suchy Vrch Nature Reserve is a forest with a 430-year old spruce in Slovakia
© PRALESEnlarge
A unique old growth forest in Slovakia was protected after the enlargement of the Suchy Vrch Nature Reserve in Velka Fatra National Park. This happens after long-term negotiations, lobbying and advocacy work of PRALES, a local environmental NGO, supported by WWF.

The area of the nature reserve was enlarged four times to 288,74 ha. The old growth forests are located on a rocky steep slope. Most of the trees are spruce and beech, but there are also firs, maples, elms and ash trees. The one species that deserves special attention is the yew tree. The circumference of the thickest spruce tree measured is 460 cm, the oldest spruce is approximately 430 years old.

Many rare and threatened species were discovered during the research including a very rare bird – the wallcreeper, together with more than 80 other bird species. Many types of lichen, moss, fungus and plants can also be seen in the area.

“We have been working on the mapping and protection of Slovakia’s old growth forests since 2009. According to our findings, there are 120 sites with old growth forest. They cover about 10,000 hectares, which represents only 0,5% of all Slovak forests. Unfortunately, more than 50 sites are still not protected”, says Juraj Vysoky of PRALES.

WWF is supporting the identification and protection of old growth forests in the Green Heart of Europe – a region in Central and Eastern Europe from the Danube basin to the Carpathian Mountains. This is the largest remaining area of virgin and natural forests of the continent outside of northern Scandinavia and Russia.

Apart from Suhy Vrch, in Slovakia WWF had also supported the designation of Smrekovica Nature Reserve in 2012.
old-growth forest in Slovakia
Suchy Vrch Nature Reserve is a forest with a 430-year old spruce in Slovakia
© PRALES Enlarge
old-growth forest in Slovakia
Suchy Vrch Nature Reserve is an old-growth forest in Slovakia
© PRALES Enlarge

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