Swis Nature

Záhorie Protected Landscape Area

Rare and unknown wilderness

Danube floodplains – rare and unknown wilderness

Protected Landscape Area Danube Floodplains (more than 12 000 ha large) consists of 5 separate parts. In this area, strongly affected by floods, we could find mixture of soft- (willow-poplar) and hardwood floodplain forest (with presence of ash, oak and elm trees), fragments of Pannonian forest, dry forest steppes, lowland hay meadows and different wetland and water habitats. Herbaceous plants are largely represented by species of orchid family (e.g. Autumn lady's-tresses Spiranthes spiralis) or nicely flowering Summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), Scilla vindobonensis or water chestnut (Trapa natans) covering surface of Veľkolélske side arm.

Beside common mammal species like Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) or wild boar (Sus scrofa) this area inhabit also European otter (Lutra lutra), beaver (Castor fiber) or tiny, but very rare relict from ice age, Root vole (Microtus oeconomus mehelyi). This area represents important migration corridor (more than 20 000 individuals yearly) and wintering place for many bird species (more than 70 000 individuals of waterfowl). Several pairs of majestic White-tailed eagle nest here (Haliaeetus albicilla). We could find here also colonies of cormorants and herons. Important is also presence of other species like Sand martin (Riparia riparia), Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) or Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus). Shallow depressions, which regularly find themselves under water and dry up again, represent ideal environment for amphibians – European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina),European tree frog (Hyla arborea) or Danube crested newt (Triturus dobrogicus), from reptiles we could see here Grass snake (Natrix natrix) or Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima). In Danube waters of Slovakia live 66 fish species (e.g. Danube salmon Hucho hucho, European weatherfish Misgurnus fossilis, European mudminnow Umbra krameri). Beside large number of vertebrates here live also many species of beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, molluscs and other invertebrates.