Information landscape

Countries

Area sizeStatusRegion
0 ha
Slovakia0 ha
Hungary0 ha
Poland0 ha
Ukraine0 ha
Romania0 ha
Total area size0 ha

Habitat description

The Carpathian landscape is characterized by high mountains ranging between 600 and 2,700 metres above sea level. Major habitat features are natural mixed mountain forests naturally composed by beech, spruce and fir, but often replaced by spruce monocultures. Above 1,700m typical vast natural or semi-natural alpine meadows characterize the habitat.

Birdview from the Carpathian mountains

Background information

The Carpathians are a huge mountain range spreading from the north western end about 50 km north-east of Bratislava in Slovakia to the south-eastern end about 50 km north of Ploesti in Romania. Human population density is generally low, in some areas even below 5 people per km2. Around recreational areas (e.g. Tatras) population density and tourist pressure are extremely high. Local people live mostly a traditional lifestyle (agriculture and forestry).

There are major differences among various parts of the mountain range resulting from geology, climate, vegetation, management etc. It is the last relatively unspoiled area of this size in Central and Eastern Europe and it contains important refuges of many rare or endangered species. Especially its function as a migration route for large mammals is very important.

 

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Presence of species in landscape

Species notes

The Carpathians are inhabited by all European species of large carnivores except the Wolverine.

For Brown bears, wolves and lynxes this mountain range is the largest remaining refuge and migrating corridor in Central and Eastern Europe. Densities of those species are locally quite high like Brown bears in Romania or wolves in Polish Bieszczady.

Unfortunately, there is no coordination and agreement regarding the approach to those species among neighbouring countries. In many cases, species that are legally protected in one country are hunted just across the national border. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a mutual agreement on the status of large carnivores, their conservancy and/or management among all Carpathian countries on eco-regional scale. A national action plan is being developed under the LCIE.

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Maps

Interactive map


Hotspot Cantabrian Mountains to enlarge in Google maps

Further map information

If you have any comments on this map, please send your suggestions for improvement.

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Opportunities

  • An improvement of large herbivores conservation can be achieved through close cooperation (so far almost non-existing) among neighbouring countries in wildlife management. They have to agree on the legal status of concerned species, joint population census, hunting plans, poaching and wildlife trade control. An extremely important factor is the protection of the Carpathian forest, especially the prevention of habitat fragmentation. Thanks to the cross border UNESCO treaty the cooperation between the countries might improve. Another positive aspect is that the frontier border crossings have been opened for ecotourism which is a promising beginning.
  • The Carpathians are a traditional recreation area since the beginning of the century but many areas have been inaccessible for visitors. They have a big potential for tourist exploration - the tourist business is growing fast.

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Threats

  • There are major differences in forestry practices ranging from clear-cuts which are reforested with spruce monocultures to selective logging followed by natural rejuvenation. The privatisation of forests might lead to uncontrolled, large scale deforestation.
  • Almost all species of large herbivores and large carnivores in the Ukraine part of the Carpathians were declining around 2001. The main reason was probably massive poaching for economic reasons. The state of legal inforcement is different in the countries.
  • Human-wildlife conflicts occur in areas with high densities of wild boar and red deer. 
  • Some parts within the Carpathian mountains are already protected as national parks. Other important parts have no protection; a certain level of protective status should be given to the whole range
  • Even those parts which are just forested hills are commercially exploited. They should be given some level of protection against uncontrolled development, overexploitation (esp. clearcuts) etc. to maintain non-fragmented habitats.
  • Reasons for the declining of the Tatra chamois are poaching (access to firearms is relatively easy), disturbances and habitat loss. Another threat for the subspecies is interbreeding with introduced Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra), especially in Slovakia.

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Experts and Scientific Referees

Perzanowski, Kajetan

Carpathian Wildlife Research Station Museum and Institute of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences Poland

Sipko, Taras

Russian mammals
Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences
www.sevin.ru/menues1/index_eng.html

Contact

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Library

Articles

Reports

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