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Slowinski Biosphere Reserve, Poland

Situated along the southern Baltic coast between Leba and Rowy, this biosphere reserve focuses on the protection of coastal aeolian processes and mobile sand dunes which are among the most active and extensive around the Baltic Sea.

Designation date: 1976


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 20,790

    • Core area(s): 5,619 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 15,171 ha
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 54°39' to 54°46'N; 17°03' to 17°33'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Slowinski National Park
    ul. Bohaterów Warszawy 1
    76-214 Smoldzino

    Tel: 0-48-59-8117 204

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Baltic Sea activity and other geo-morphological processes lead to the creation of sand-bars, separating lakes from the sea. The mobile dunes can reach a height of over 30 meters above sea level. The Slowinski wetlands are of high importance in the Baltic Sea region as a breeding and stopover area for many bird species. Within the Biosphere Reserve there are at least 25 bird species listed in Annex 1 of the European Union Birds Directive, of which 15 are listed in the Polish national red list, including Aegolius funereus, Asio flammeus, Botaurus stellaris and Philomachus pugnax.

    It was designated as Ramsar site in 1995. The biosphere reserve comprises a series of vegetation zones created by natural succession, going from the coastline towards the mainland. The system includes pioneer and initial sand communities, as well as coastal coniferous forests with crowberry.




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The name of the biosphere reserve derives from the group of Kashubian tribe (Slowincy), who once lived in this remote area. An open-air museum, located in Kluki village, is designated to present the culture of this ethnic group. The biosphere reserve is a popular tourist destination and also offers environmental education to the visitors, for instance with interpretative nature paths.






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    Last updated: May 2019