Bílé Karpaty / White Carpathians

Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code CZ940003)
  • Since 2000
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 748 km2 (74844.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Manager VIS Bilé Karpaty ing. Jan W. Jongepier Bartolomejské nàm. 47 698 01 Veseli nad Moravou Tel.: 0631-322545, 324792 Fax.: 0631-322545, 324792 E-Mail: visbk@es-servis.cz
Information Spràva CHKO Bilé Karpaty PhDr. Petr Dolejsky Nàdrazni 318 763 26 Luhacovice Tel.: 067-933710, 932580 Fax.: 067-933710 E-Mail: bilekarpaty@iol.cz
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Official contact local  


General character of the site The White Carpathians (Bilé Karpaty) are a mountainous area stretching out along the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia over a length of some 80 km. It belongs to the westernmost part of the Carpathian range. The area is particularly valuable because of its high species diversity and well-preserved meadow and forest ecosystems. In 1980 a total area of 715 km² was designated a protected landscape area (PLA). In 1996, the Bilé Karpaty PLA was included in the UNESCO network of biosphere reserves for its rich culture and the important role of man in the conservation of the area. The Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve Bilé Karpáty is situated in the districts of Hodonin, Uherské Hradiste and Zlin between the longitudes 17°15'21" and 18°7'28" E, and the latitudes 48°48'45 " and 49°10'11" N. Characteristic of the part situated in the Hodonin district are extensive complexes of species-rich meadows with scattered tree and shrubs, reminding of an English park. National Nature Reserve Certoryje and the proposed nature reserve Predni louky, stretching out over an area of nearly 1000 ha, belong to the largest. The wine cellars at Petrov, the traditional Hornácko Festival at Velká nad Velickou and the Stráznice Festival prove that the cultural wealth of the region is still alive. The wide surroundings of Stary Hrozenkov in the district of Uherské Hradiste is called Moravské Kopanice. It is an area that arose in the Middle Ages by colonisation of the Wallachians. The scattered farmhouses surrounded by orchards, arable fields, meadows and pastures give the scenery an uncomparably cozy atmosphere. Songs, folk costumes and customs are not only seen and heard at the Kopanice festivals but in the time of carnival and at Easter. In this district, at the state border, the highest peak of the White Carpathians, Velká Javorina (970 m a.s.l.) is situated. The northern part of the range in the district of Zlin, in the surroundings of Valasské Klobouky and Brumov-Bylnice, is called Wallachia after their colonisers. The landscape reminds of the Beskid Mts. adjacent to the White Carpathians. The large areas of semi-natural beech forests around the Vlára pass belong to the best conserved woodland of the Czech Republic. An essential factor determining the appearance of the White Carpathian landscape is the long- term human impact. Whereas higher elevations were not colonised earlier than the Middle Ages, first settling activities along the rivers of the area go back to the later Stone Age. 
Quality - Thousands of hectares of extremely species-rich hay meadows with up to 70 vascular plant species per m², unique to Europe;- Situation of the Bilé Karpaty Mts. In two protected landscape areas in two states - Slovakia and Czech Republic;- Interaction with rich folk culture - architecture, music, dance, customs, celebrations 
Vulnerability The most basic threat to nature and landscape of the area is paradoxically the decrease of human activity. This leads to an abandonment of meadow and orchard management and consequently a decrease in biodiversity. This threat concerns predominantly the foothill arcas.Through management plans and legislation, forests are now well preserved from large-scale spruce planting and clearing. 
Owner Privately owned: 60 % State owned: 25 % Community owned: 15 % In general not too many problems occur in relation to the private ownership of most land including nature reserves. The PLA management's philosophy is however to involve landowners and renters in reserve maintenance as much as possible. Good examples are found around Stráni Horni Nemci, Valasské Klobouky. In case of lack of interest by landowners finances are raised to have the necessary management work carried by NGOs and specialised firms. In problematic or large areas (Certoryje, Zahrady pod Hajem) future management the PLA Administration supports land purchase by either the State Land Fund or land trusts (associations ofthe local stakeholders). 
Documentation - Batousek P., 1995: Prispevek k poznáni orchidee Bilych Karpat.- Zpr. Ces. Bot. Spolec., Praha, 30: 13-25.- Grulich V. [red.], 1989: Vysledky floristického kurzu CSBS v Uherském Hradisti 1987. - ed. ONV Uherské Hradisti, 124 p.- Grulich V. et Jongepierová I., 1988: Kvetena Bilych Karpat. - Bilé Karpaty, Luhacovice, skripta 1: 27-29.- Hájek M., 1998: Mokradnf vegetace Bilych Karpat [The wetland vegetation in the White Carpathians]. 4. Supplementum Sborniku Prirodovedného Klubu v Uherském Hradisti, 157 p.- Jelinková E. (ed.), 1996: The White Carpathians. In: Welcome to the Heart of Europe, p.36-37. - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Prague.- Jongepier J.W., Jongepierová I.,1995: The orchid flora of the White Carpathians. - Eurorchis 7: 73-89. Utrecht.- Jongepier J.W., Jongepierová I., 1996: Habitat management of orchid-rich meadows in the Czech Republic. In: Anonymous, Planta Europa Proceedings, p. 151-156. - Plant Life, London- Jongepierová I. et Grulich,V., 1992: Praktické poznámky k ma nagementu chránenych üzemi.- Veronica, Brno, 3: 41-43.- Jongepierová 1. et Jongepier J.W., 1989: Study on the taxonomy of Gymnadenia conopsca in Czechoslovakia - A preliminary report. - Mém. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg., Bruxelles, 1 1 123-132.- Jongepierová I., Jongepier J.W., Bezdièka P., Wolf P., Kopeèek F., Kuèa P., Trachtulec V., Hajduchová J., 1996: Biosférická rezervace Bilé Karpaty (Biosphere Reserve Bilé Karpaty). In: Jenik J. (ed.), Biosférické rezervace Ceské republiky, priroda a lidé pod zástitou UNESCO (Biosphere Reserves of the Czech Republic, Nature and People under of the patronage of UNESCO), p. 17-40. - Czech National Committee for the UNESCO Programme Man and the Biosphere, Prague.- Jongepierová I., Jongepier J.W. et Klime§ L., 1994: Obnoya druhove bohatych luk v Bilych Karpatech.- Priroda, Praha, 1: 185-189.- Klimes L., 1995: Small-scale distribution of species richness in a grassland (Bilé Karpaty Mts., Czech Republie).- Folia Geobot. Phytotax., Praha, 30: 499-5 1 0.- Klimes L., 1997: Druhové bohatstvi luk v Bilych Karpatech [Species richness of grasslands in the Bilé Karpaty Mts.l. - Sbornik Prirodovedného Klubu v Uherském Hradiste 2: 31-42.- Klimes L., Jongepierová 1. et Jongepier J.W., 1995: Variability in species-richness and guild structure in two species-rich grasslands. - Folia Geobot. Phytotax., Praha, 30: 243- 253.- Kreutz C.A.J., Jongepierová I. & Jongepier J.W., 1995: Ophrys holubyana Andrasovszky in de Witte Karpaten in Tsjechie. - Eurorchis, Utrecht, 7. 67-72.- Kuca P., Májsk@ J., Kopeeek F., Jongepierová I., 1992: Chránená laajinná oblast Bilé/Biele Karpaty (Protected Landscape Areas of the White Carpathians). - Ekológia, Bratislava. 380 p.- Pospisil V., 1994: Mechorosty CHKO Bilé Karpaty. - Preslia, Praha, 66: 163-189.- Repka R., 1995: Ohrozené druhy rodu Carex j izni Moravy. - Zpr. Ces. Bot. Spolec., Praha, 29 (1994): 47-54.- Tlusták V., Jongepierová-Hlobilová I., 1990: Orchideje Bilych Karpat (Orchids of the White Carpathians). - Krajské vlastivedné muzeum, Olomouc. 127 p.- Wilson P., 1995: The White Carpathian protected landscape area. - La Caòada (Newsletter of the European forum on nature conservation and pastoralism) no. 3: 3. 
Habitat types  
Potential vegetation  
Geomorphology Geologically the White Carpathians belong to the Carpathian mountain system, which is basically formed by Magura flysh sediment - rock consisting of mainly sandstone layers alternating with clay and marl stone layers with often a considerable amount of limestone in the form of calcareous cement or veins filling old fissures. This fact is reflected in numerous limestone deposits in springs from calcareous sediments. The different hardness of the flysh sediments is projected in the general relief of the area.A morphologically more prominent relief is only associated with harder sandstone, such as in the highest mountain parts. In places with softer sediments predominantly gentle long slopes and rounded softly modelled ridges are found. A characteristic and very frequent feature in places of soft (clayey) sediments are landslides, which sometimes cause considerable damage to forests, particularly there where no account was taken of this fact. Badly accessible landslide areas outside woodland are often represented by enclaves of natural habitats which have not been influenced by agriculture. The complexes of flysh sediments are in several places pervaded by vulcanic sediments. Connected to these eruptive sediments are rich mineralogical finds.The flysh zone is characterised by a general lack of groundwater. This is particularly evident in places with a greater share of impermeable claystone sediments. Only thicker sandstone layers possess a limited groundwater flow through their pores. However, also in these parts springs show a low and in the course of the year strongly fluctuating output, mostly around tenths of litres per second. Only exceptionally the amount of water exceeds 1 l/s. More abundant water sources are bound to accumulations of fluvial sediments, variably clayey gravel and sand in the basins of larger rivers. The area is known for the occurrence of mineral water, used for example at the spa town of Luhacovice.The basic geomorphological element of the White Carpathians is one, locally two, parallel mountain ridges divided into different mountain groups.The White Carpathians massif has a total length of 69 km and is roughly oriented southwest- northeast. The central ridge of the range is not continuous but consists of individual isolated parts caused by the geological structure and the development of a valley network. The larger part is of a middle mountain range character with elevations of 300 to 600 m above sealevel. The central groups of the main ridge are the highest.The White Carpathians belong hydrologically to the Morava and Váh basins. The watershed between these basins follows for the greater part the main ridge of the White Carpathian mountain system. Only the Vlára river and its tributaries, which intersects the main ridge by means of backward erosion, causes water of the former Morava basin to drain into the basin of river Váh.Other significant streams are the Olsava and Velicka rivers.Characteristic of the W'hite Carpathian streams are considerable fluctuations in water flow, which is mainly due to the bad water retention of the flysh soil in combination with the geomorphology and climatic features. In southem parts of the territory streams frequently dry up in dry summers.The highest flows are mostly recorded in July after torrential rains accompanying thunderstorms.Since 1985 at the hydrological station of Uhersky Brod suspended matter in the Olsava river has been monitored, which provides information on the intensity of erosion processes.The prevailing soil type of the White Carpathians are not very fertile brown soils (Cambisol). Whereas the southwestem part of the White Carpathians is characterised by mesotrophic Cambisol on a limestone basis, the highest parts of the Carpathian ridge and the northeastern part on eroded Solán layers are distinguished by brown soils of a more oligotrophic character on acid substrates. Only a small enclave of light deep Chernozem soil, linked to Cambisol and typical Rendzina soils, enters the PLA in the vicinity of the villages Bánov and Suchá Loz. Floodplains and numerous springs are covered by Fluvisol, which at higher elevations change into Glaysol.Besides limestone, andesite and limestone tuff occur as soil forming substrates. A serious problem in the southwestern part on foothills is aeolian soil erosion on agricultural land. 
Educational interest Education and information on the area is in the hands of the Education and Information Centre Bilé Karpaty at Veseli nad Moravou. This organisation also provides guided tours in the area, has a permanent exhibition in its building, builds nature trails, publishes the magazine " Bilé Karpaty " etc. Environmental education and teacher training are provided by this organisation as well as Kosenka at Valasské Klobouky. There are a tourist information centre and a farmers information centre at Stary Hrozenkov. At Hostetin an information centre on the (environmental) activities of the NGO Veronica is being set up.Research instituties and universities collaborating on research and monitoring:- Czech Entomological Society (inventories, identification 1997-1999)- Czech Zoological Society (mammal mapping, fossile molluscs)- Czech Ornithological Society (bird mapping and protection)- Czech Societyfor the Protection of Bats (bat mapping andprotection)- Institute flor Soil Biology of the Academy of Scienees, Ceské Budejoviee (edaphon research, identification)- Institute flor Vertebrate Ecology of the Academy of Sciences, Brno (research on ichtyofauna, crawfish, benthos).- Botanical Institute of the Academy of Science, Trebon (vegetation monitoring, restoration of species-rich grasslands)- Botanical Institute of the Academy of Science, Pruhonice (restoration of species-rich grasslands, taxonomy questions)- Biological Institute of the Academy of Science, Ceské Budejovice (restoration o species- rich grasslands)- Masaryk University, Faculty of Natural Science, Brno, (botanical inventories, phytosociology, database interpretation, inventories of different faunistic groups)- Mendel Agronomic and Forestry University, Lednice and Brno (preservation of local fruit- tree variaties, restoration of species-rich grasslands, pasture monitoring, sylvicultural research, landscape ecology, bee survey)- Palacky University, Olomouc (pasture monitoring, algological research, floristics)- South Bohemian University, Ceské Budejovice (restoration of species-rich grasslands, orchid taxonomy)- Charles University, Prague (phytosociological project in the Predni louky area)- University of Ostrava (inventory of Araneida)- Grassland Research Institute, Zubri (restoration of species-rich grasslands)- Forestry and Hunting Research Institute, Kunovice (endangered tree species)- Research Institute for Agricultural Production, Brno (application of agri-environmental programs within theframework of Regulation 2078192 of the European Union)- Regional Museum, Olomouc (seedbank, cultivation and repatriation of endangered plant species)- Moravian Museum, Brno (mycological surveys)- Museum, Roztoky (inventories ofaquatieplants)- Society for Natural Science, Uherské Hradiste (amphibian and reptile mapping)- Czech Association for Nature Conservation (wood ant mapping)- SPHEX o. s. (dragonfly research)- Komensky University, Bratislava [Slovakia] (inventories)- Slovak A cademy of Sciences, Bratislava [Slovakia] (phytosociology, taxonomy) - University of Kent [Great Britain] (restoration of species-rich grasslands) 
Cultural heritage The area is in comparison to other Czech areas rather rich in old houses, classical farm buildings and small sacred buildings (belfries, chapels, memorial crosses etc.). Significant monuments are the windmill at Kuzelov (1842), a number of barns at Stráni chambers and a row of barns at Hrubá Vrbka, hay-barns at Javornik and a group of wine-cellars partly .from the 16th century at Petrov (national monumentTo the best preserved churches belong the Bojkovice (1651-1655), Velká nad Velickou (14th century) Vlachovice and some other baroque churches with a mediaval history and the protestant church of Javorniku (1782). Other interesting architecture is found at Valasské Klobouky (townhouses) and Luhacovice (baroque castle, 5 Jugendstil houses from the beginning of the 20th century).The area is also rich ethnographically. There are yearly folklore festivals held at Straznice, Velká nad Velickou, Stary Hrozenkov and local harvest and religieus feasts in almost every village or town. There is a great variety of folk costumes and several thousands of folk songs come from this area.Also the orchid meadows, developed by centuries long careful management of the local people, are considered a part of the White Carpathian cultural heritage. 
Management plan  
URL official http://mab.kav.cas.cz/bile.karpaty/ 
URL interesting  

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100