Interesting Facts

European bison is the biggest European land mammal. There are over 500 bisons living in the Polish part of the Białowieża Forest.

New publications about the natural resources of Białowieża National Park (BPN)


Mid-December 2016 two extensive monographs  „The Aquatic Ecosystems of Białowieża National Park” and „The Non-Forest Land Ecosystems of Białowieża National Park” were published by Białowieża National Park. Both were prepared in the frame of the project „Fostering management of the Białowieża National Park through harmonization of environmental data” implemented by BPN along with the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre. The project is co-financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (more than 2.5 m zl).

First monograph, edited by Renata Krzyściak-Kosińska, PhD and Elżbieta Wilk-Woźniak, PhD, presents the results of 2015 inventory of all aquatic habitats and organisms in BPN, created by a large team of 26 experts from various scientific centres across Poland. As the result of their research, valuable documentation of the current state of BPN’s aquatic ecosystems was collected. It’s worth mentioning that for many taxonomic groups associated with this environment, it was the first inventory carried out in the BNP.

Contents of the monograph „The Aquatic Ecosystems of Białowieża National Park”:

A review of the aquatic ecosystems;
A characterisation of abiotic factors in the Park’s waters;
Aquatic vegetation. Phytocoenotic diversity and species richness;
Diatoms (Bacillariophyta);
Amphibians (Amphibia);
Fish (Pisces);
Bivalves and snails (Mollusca: Bivalvia i Gastropoda);
Crustaceans of surface waters;
Caddisflies (Trichoptera);
Water beetles (Coleoptera aquatica);
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera);
Water bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera);
Dragonflies (Odonata);
Stoneflies (Plecoptera);
Alderflies (Megaloptera);
Lacewings – spongillaflies and osmylids (Neuroptera: Sisyridae, Osmylidae);
Leeches (Euhirudinea);
Zoobentos (selected groups);
Fungi and fungus-like organisms;
Species of particular importance.

Second publication, edited by Małgorzata Karczewska,MSc and Leszek Kucharski, PhD, presents the current state of knowledge about the far less known non-forest ecosystems of Białowieża National Park. This monograph is a great source of information on biological diversity of the plant communities of open areas, in particular meadows and tall-sedge vegetation. Authors focus not only on detailed characterisation of non-forest phytocoenoses, but also on review of protected, rare or endangered species.  General concept of vegetation’s conservation on former meadows and other open areas is also presented in this book.

Contents of the monograph „The Non-Forest Land Ecosystems of Białowieża National Park”:

The history of non-forest land use in Białowieża National Park;
The state of research into the non-forest vegetation of Białowieża National Park;
Plant cover;
Changes in the spatial structure of vegetation on unmown meadowland in the Reski Range within Białowieża National Park;
Directions to change in the non-forest vegetation of BNP – threats and protection.

Both volumes contain bibliography section and lists of tables, figures and photographs. Notes about the authors of the specific chapters are also provided.

Those publications expand and enrich our knowledge of Białowieża National Park’s nature. As an additional value, they are written in easily accessible language and with beautiful graphical layout. We encourage all readers , who would like to get to know more about Białowieża National Forest’s nature, to review those books.

Third publication in this monographic series „The Forests of strictly protected areas of Białowieża National Park”, edited by Andrzej Keczyński, MSc, is in preparation.

Supported by: Coordinator: Project partner: