The Biosphere Reserve is one of the biggest forest complexes in northwestern Poland. Within this forest area, there is a number of natural habitats in need of protection. Among those habitats there are pine and deciduous forests, heathlands, Lobelia lakes and dystrophic lakes with stoneworts meadows, as well as peat bogs.
Designation date: 2010
Regional network: EuroMAB
Surface : 319 524,61 ha
- Core area(s): 7,880.72 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 104,631.01 ha
- Transition zone(s): 207,012.88 ha
Location: 53° 47’ 26’ N – 17° 59’ 08” E
The Biosphere Reserve presents ecological systems typical for lowlands of Middle Europe, where many rare, relict and protected species of vascular plants occur (trees, bushes, dwarf shrubs, herbaceous plants) and cryptogamic plants (algae, lichens, mosses and liverworts), fungi, as well as invertebrates and vertebrates. Many of those species are listed on the Polish red lists of endangered species (among others: algae – amidst so far recorded 10 species from the red list, lichens 149, mosses 29, vascular plants 136 (212 on the local list; 38 species becoming extinct on the national and local list), fungi 33, cyclostomes 2, fishes 11, amphibians 8, reptiles 5, birds 53 and mammals 15).
The area of the Biosphere Reserve is inhabited by few ethnic groups of people whose major source of income is exploitation of forest ecosystems (logging, picking mushrooms and berries, hunting) and water ecosystems (fishing), as well as cultivation of small agricultural fields, which form, together with housing settlements, mid-forest „islands”.
Until the 2nd World War, it was a borderland and the human population density was small there. Even today, the population density in forest areas is rather small. The average density of the human population for the whole area reaches 32 persons/km2. Within the buffer zone it drops to 16 persons/km2, whereas within the core zone - almost to zero.
In the territory of the Biosphere Reserve, there are strong traditions of forest and water exploitation, but also profound consciousness that the quality of life depends on the state of nature. In recent years, agritourism has become one of the most intensively developing branches of economy. There are also some opportunities for accelerating the craft development based on local timber processing.
The occurrence of unique natural and cultural objects in this region, and also well-organized recreational infrastructure bring about an increased interest in the region by a higher and higher number of visitors from Poland and abroad. Establishing the Biosphere Reserve will further increase this interest and will turn the economy even more towards proecological methods of ecosystems management as well as towards creating the harmony between the society and nature.
Last updated: February 2022