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Sumava Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic

The Sumava Biosphere Reserve includes a substantial part of the north-east facing Bohemian Forest, a large Hercynian middle-mountain range that straddles the border between the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. The biosphere reserve is situated adjacent to the Bayerischer Wald Biosphere Reserve in Germany.

Designation date: 1990


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 167,337 ha

    • Core area(s): 47,521 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 95,070 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 25,016 ha

    Location: N/A

    Administrative Authorities

    Šumava Biosphere Reserve
    Stachy 422  
    384 73   Stachy
    Czech Republic 

    Tel.: + 420 380 120 261

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    Ecological Characteristics

    Sumava BR is a flat or slightly undulating region near Austrian and Bawarian border that has been modified by human activities for more than 10 centuries. The Sumava Mts. is one of the most extensive forested areas in the Central Europe. Primeval mountain forests, glacial lakes, peat bogs, revers and canyons are the main landscape values even though the area has been inhabited by man for centuries.

    Forests cover approx. 65 % of the total area of the biosphere reserve (flowering and acidiphilous beech forests, mountain spruce forests..); the proportion within the Šumava / Bohemian Forest National Park is even higher (83.8 %). Peat-bogs are another important natural element. There are extensive plains at the approx. altitude of 1,000 m a.s.l. in the Šumava Mts.

    Large areas of them are used as meadows or pastures. Among wild animals, the Northern Birch Mouse should be mentioned. Recently, the Eurasian Lynx was successfully reintroduced there. Wild birds include both the Capercaillie and Black Grouse. In the spring area of the Blanice River, the most important site for the River Pearl Mussel in the Czech Republic can be found.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Tourism is a key sector of the economy in the region. The amount of visitors in the Šumava BR has increased rapidly after 1990 and approximately from 2000 it has been steadily growing (estimated 2% per year). Continuous monitoring of visitors in the region has not yet been introduced.

    The nature of tourism is significantly influenced by the environment, in which it takes place. With regard to high coverage of the Large Scale Protected Areas within the BR (41% National Park, 53% Protected Landscape Area) tourism is oriented on experiencing the Šumava nature.

    Other important economy sectors in the Biosphere Reserve include forestry and wood processing, agriculture and processing industry.


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    Last updated: April 2019