Fundacji Wspierania
   Inicjatyw Ekologicznych
   ul. Czysta 17/4,
   31-121 Kraków
   tel./fax: 012/6315730,
   6315731, 6315732

Municipalities of Valley Nature of Valley Tourism and education

The Carp Valley

The way the fishing economy was managed, the history and the structure of the ponds determine their incredible biodiversity, which manifests itself e.g. in the occurrence of rare and endangered bird species (the Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, the Purple Heron Ardea purpura, the Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris, the Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus, the Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, the Little Crake Porzana parva, the Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, the Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus and the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus), as well as plants (the water chestnut Trapa natans and the floating heart Nymphoides peltata). The valleys of the Soła, Skawa and Vistula Rivers and nearby disused gravel pits provide rich breeding and feeding habitat diversity for these species. Thus this system of habitats makes the place particularly attractive for birds and birdwatchers practically all year round. Because of conditions changing in each season of the year, birds – altogether 314 species, including 180 breeding ones, so more than in most national parks! – are present in different, but actually closely located places. So the tourist (ornithological) season in the region lasts from early spring till late autumn, and even in winter considerable concentrations of birds gather on the non-freezing Vistula River.
The pride and symbol of the area is the Night Heron - a bird whose almost whole Polish population concentrates in the vicinity of Zator, O¶więcim and Skoczów. Also some plant species that are dying out in our country have found refuge here, e.g. the bog bulrush Schoenoplectus mucronatus, waterworts Elatinae, the water chestnut or the floating heart. Especially the last two species occur here in great abundance, having become a floristic symbol of the O¶więcim-Zator Region.

Refuges of the European ecological network "Natura 2000":
  The network "Natura 2000"
  The Lower Skawa Valley
  The Lower Soła Valley
  The Upper Vistula Valley (within the O¶więcim Basin)
  The Brzeszcze Ponds

Other protected areas:
  "Żaki" forest reserve
  "Przeciszów" forest reserve

Conservation areas:
  Dolina rzeki Soły
  Stare Wi¶lisko

Non-protected areas:
  Fish ponds
  The Przeręb Ponds near Zator
  The Ponds in Brzeszcze-Nazieleńce
  The settling tank of the Brzeszcze Hard Coal Mine
  The Dwory Gravel Pit
  Vistulan cut-offs
  The Soła River Valley
  The Skawa River Valley
  Peat bog ZapadĽ and the Dulniki Ponds
  Forest complexes: Granica Polańska-Dalachowice and Pu¶ciny
  The Bachowice and Spytkowice Hills
  The Vistula River and the reservoir in Ł±czany
  Burzyński's Forest
  The Brodawka Valley (on the border of the communes of BrzeĽnica and Wadowice)
  The forest in Jawiszowice
  The Dziećkowice Reservoir

Interesting animal species:
  The Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris and the Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
  The White Stork Ciconia ciconia, the Black Stork Ciconia nigra
  The common carp Cyprinus carpio
  Grebes Podicipedidae
  Terns Sternidae
  Charadriiformes Charadrii
  The Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Interesting plant species:
  The floating heart (the fringed water-lily) Nymphoides peltata
  The water chestnut (the water caltrop) Trapa natans
  The bog bulrush Schoenoplectus mucronatus
  The ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris
  The floating watermoss Salvinia natans
  The giant horsetail Equisetum telmateia

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