The White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area

The White Carpathians are the westernmost mountain range which creates a natural border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It extends over some 80 kilometres from Sudoměřice southwest of Moravia to the mountain pass Lyský in northeast. Dominating features are the highest mountain Velká Javorina at 970 m (3,182 ft) and the second highest Velký Lopeník at 911 m (2,989 ft), that represents the touristic centre of microregion Bojkovsko.

There is a protected landscape area on both sides of the mountains: Biele Karpaty Protected Landscape Area in Slovakia, founded in 1979, and the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area in the Czech Republic, founded in 1980 at the area of 715 square kilometres. The area contains a wide variety of fauna and flora. Some species found there are endemic. Especially some types of orchids which grow only in the meadows of the White Carpathians. For its natural, scenic and cultural qualities the White Carpathians Protected Landscape Area was included into the world network of Biosphere Reserves under the UNESCO programme Man and the Biosphere on 15 April 1996.
In 2000, the PLA was rewarded the European Diploma of Protected Areas by the Council of Europe.

Brief characteristics

Expansion: 715 km2
Special protection: 52 protected regions

Geographical location

The White Carpathians are situated in east of Southern Moravia, where it creates a border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Before 1918 this was actually a border between Austrian and Hungarian part of the Austria-Hungary kingdom. Protected landscape includes part of South-Moravian region and Zlín region.

Climate of the White Carpathians

Climate of the southeast part of the White Carpathians is mild and moist. An average annual temperature is 9,4 °C, mean annual precipitation is around 600 mm. Climate of central and northeast part of the White Carpathians is mild and warm, it is colder in higher elevations, but still it is much warmer compared to the areas of West and North Carpathians situated at the same hieght. For example in Stráně the average annual temperature is 7,6 °C and annual precipitation is 843 mm. The highest peak has an annual temperature lower than 6 °C. Percipitation is generally higher than elsewhere in Moravia. Deep valleys along the main mountain range influence air circulation and cause the more humid climate. Dry winds blowing from southeast have on the other hand influence on the West side of the mountains. Especially in spring they cause strong wind erosion.

Development of landscape of the White Carpathians

Low situated areas of the White Carpathians were already populated in a prehistoric period. Forests became preserved only in small areas. The charasteristic feature of the southwest part of the mountains is extended meadows, which have been rising from middl ages. Unfortunately a great part of them has been destroyed or damaged in the second half of the 20th century (see below).

Northeast parts of the mountains were settled mainly in the 17th and 18th century, inhabiting of central area wasn't finished until second half of the 18th century. The colonists came here from Wallachia (southeast of Romania) and they substantially influenced the landscape pattern. In deep forests they were founding settlements surrounded by meadows and small areas of arable land so the landscape was divided into characteristic forest units. This type of settlement in Czech is called Kopanice, which is a homestead in mountains surrounded by "bad lands" (in Czech Kopanina).Deforested areas were used mostly as arable fields, orchards and pastures. In the last few decades these areas have been depopulated and they are more and more used for recreation purposes only. It has connection with abandoning the agricultural land, which stayes uncultivated. The way how to preserve the diversity of cultural landscape is supporting of extensive breeding of sheep and other livestock, which has been succesfully developed here in recent years. In past establishing extensive areas of fruit orchards with a great number of old local species was typical in the White Carpathians. In last decade the attention is payed to its cultivation and restoration.

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