Slovakian National Parks
Slovakia has more than thousand protected territories with an area exceeding 10,000 square kilometres and many plants and animals are protected under different legal provisions.
Some level of protection is applied to more than a fifth of the Slovak territory including nine National Parks. Entire territories, which include the National Parks, Landscape Areas and Nature Reserves are likewise legally protected. The movement in the territory of all National Parks is subject to special rules, which are normally summarized in visitors codes.
High Tatras National Park
The National Park of High Tatras was established as the first of its kind in Slovakia. Five years later the Polish side of the Tatras won a similar statute. Along with its Polish part, the High Tatras constitute the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993. The administrative headquarters of the National Park is located in Tatranská Lomnica.
The TANAP contains mountain and high-mountain plants such as dwarf pine, pine woods and a wonderful flora. Rare animal species such as the eagle, bear, or marmot live here as well. The chamois is the symbol of Tatras. It is one of the most precious species, as it developed in isolation since the glacial age. This is the reason why it differs from its relatives living in the Alps or Apennines. Its protection is extremely strict because only 300 animals survive at present.
The tallest mountain of Slovakia is one of the peaks of the High Tatras - Gerlachovsky stit (2,655 m). Symbol of the country though is the mountain Krivan. The Park contains more than 100 alpine lakes and several waterfalls. The biggest and deepest lake of the Tatras is the Velke Hincovo pleso, while the one situated highest is the lake Modre pleso (2,192 metres above sea level). The most visited lakes are the Strbske pleso and Popradske pleso.
Slovenský raj National Park
The National Park of Slovenský raj with its administrative seat in Spišská Nová Ves is one of the youngest National Parks in Slovakia. The unusually valuable landscape lying in the boundary area between regions of Spiš and Gemer enjoyed the status of a Protected Landscape Area from 1964. The National Park of Slovenský raj occupying an area of 328 square kilometres obtained a higher degree of protection. Approximately one fifth of the National Park is object of even stricter protection in form of 11 National Nature Reserves and 8 Nature Reserves.
Malá Fatra National Park
The Krivánska part of the Malá Fatra Mts. was designated the Protected Landscape Area in 1967 for unusual abundance of its natural assets and the plant and animal species it contains. It was re-classified in 1988 to National Park Malá Fatra. It spreads on an area of 226 square kilometres. The area of its protective zone is 233 square kilometres.
Muránska planina National Park
The Muranska planina plateau was designated the National Park in 1997 on the area of cca 203 ha and protected area of 217 ha. The administration of the National Park Muranska planina seats in Revúca. The territory of the Park contains numerous karstic springs, swallow holes, and jets, more than 300 caves and 15 abysses. Its terrain is refreshed by sink holes, grikes, canyons, rock towers, and rock windows. There is a dwarf pinewood at the lowest altitude in Slovakia (it grows at 750 m above sea level). The predominating woods vary from oakwoods to beechwoods and from deal beechwoods to alpine spruce fir forests.
Nizke Tatry National Park
The natural values of the Nizke Tatry Mountains. have been protected for more than two decades now. The National Park of Nizke Tatry (NAPANT) was established in 1978. The original area of the NAPANT was 811 square kilometres plus the protective belt on 1,240 square kilometres. In 1997, the limits of the National Park were widened in order to attain better protection of the territory. Now the territory of the NAPANT stretches on an area 728 square kilometres, the protective belt occupies 1,102 square kilometres, and it makes it the largest National Park in Slovakia. The administration of the National Park seats in Banska Bystrica.
Pieniny National Park
The National Park of Pieniny (PIENAP) is the smallest of the Slovak National Parks, but as far as its beauty concerns, it is in no way less beautiful. It is the second oldest Park in Slovakia. It stretches on the border with Poland; the river Dunajec passes through it. It is possible to hire a raft and admire the wonderful scenery of the Park navigating down the river.
Slovensky kras National Park
The National Park of Slovensky kras lying in the south of Slovakia next to the frontier with Hungary is the largest karstic area in the middle Europe (440 square kilometres) with the densest concentration of underground forms. There is 1100 caves and abysses, which are inscribed in the UNESCO List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Poloniny National Park
This remotest part of Slovakia is becoming ever more attractive for tourists. They can visit the National Park of Poloniny, which was added to the list of National Parks of Slovakia in 1997. The area of national park is 29 805 ha and acreage of protected area is 10 973 ha. It is is situated at the point where three frontiers meet: Slovak, Polish and Ukrainian. The Park immediately neighbours with the Polish Bieszczadski Park Narodowy and ukrajinsky Uzansky nacionalny pryrodny park. The mountain area where the Park was established is also known under the Slovak name, the Bukovske vrchy Mountains. The name of the Park derives from the Slovak term for special and unique alpine meadows - poloniny - which spread here above the upper timberline.
Velka Fatra National Park
The territory of the Velka Fatra Mountains. with considerable concentration of natural assets has been declared the Protected Landscape Area (PLA) in 1973 and the National Park of Velka Fatra in 2002. The basic natural value of the Velka Fatra Mountains. is its extensive mountain territory with dissected surface, rich in karstic phenomena, continuous forest, extensive and typical deforested zones, long valleys with diverse flora and fauna, and the largest locality of the original yew tree occurrence in Europe.
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