Preserve Smrekovec 
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Nature > Animals

Ants Butterflies Capercaillie Rare birds
We can find many protected animals in the forest on the Smrekovec highland ridge, what is of special worth. Some animals live here, others pass the area or come temporarily. E.g. a wild cat and a lynx, also a brown bear ...

ENDANGERED ANIMALS

We can find many protected animals in the forest on the Smrekovec highland ridge, what is of special worth. Some animals live here, others pass the area or come temporarily. E.g. a wild cat and a lynx, also a brown bear stops on its way to the Alps. An alpine rabbit is a resident in the area. It is snowy white in winter, only earlap ends are black. Its living place is above the forest line, but in severe winters it looks for shelter and food also in the forest. We can observe birds of prey, with some luck also the golden eagle with the span-width of over 2 m. A family of game birds is represented with a hazel grouse, a capercaillie and a black grouse. All three are treated as not adaptable species, they cannot namely adapt to changes or disturbances in their habitats. If there are too many changes, they simply dwindle away. Rich ground vegetation and peace are basic conditions for their existence.

From reptiles we might meet an alpine viper. Snakes are carnivores and play an important role in the environment. Unfortunately people still kill them in unfounded fear, but no one is nowadays dead because of snake poison. Amphibians could be met in shadow and moist places, at moors or pools formed by men for the use of stock trough. The most common endangered amphibians are a yellow-bellied toad, a common toad, an edible frog, newts and alpine salamanders. The richness of aqua fauna is shown in large diversity of water fleas, copepods and stoneflies. Seven species from the group of alpine endemits have been found in the group of caddisflies.

The extinction of a species is the result of an interaction among various factors on a global, regional and local level. Relationships and proportions between species, diseases and environs influences are important from the local point of view. The last one is mainly caused by men. Wild animals live on certain territories which need to be connected. Corridors are often closed by roads or intensive agriculture fields. Game birds do not tolerate noise, as it causes stress reactions. The disturbance of wild deer leads to additional movements (flights) and the loss of energy which should be economized in winter. If we disturb a capercaillie twice or three times in the same cold winter day, it can die because of high energy loss. Nevertheless, animals are able to adapt to men in many cases. They get used to human places and presence, more vulnerable withdraw to more peaceful spots. If the man respected the need of animals, the symbiosis could be a successful partnership.


 
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Yellow-bellied toad

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Brown bear

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Common stoat

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Alpine newt