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Bieszczadzki PN arrow Vertebrate fauna

Vertebrate fauna
09.05.2011.
The animal life of the Bieszczady Park and its buffer zone which has resulted from the geographical location of the Park and from the diversity and the degree of the natural character of communities, is of extraordinary value.  The most important studies on the vertebrates in the area were those of Grodzinski (1957), Glowacinski (1969, 1993, 1994), Glowacinski and Witkowski (1969), Pisarski (1971), Buchalczyk and Markowski (1979), Jakubiec (1990,
1993a, 1993b), Kukula (1993, 1995, 2000a, b), Derwich (2000), Glowacinski et al. (2000), Górecki et al. (2000), Gula and Frackowiak (2000), Perzanowski (2000a, b, 2001), Perzanowski and Kanzaki (2000), Perzanowski and Krzakiewicz (2000), Perzanowski and Paszkiewicz (2000), Postawa and Woloszyn (2000), Smietana (2000), Smietana et al (2000, 2002), Gula and Perzanowski (2002), Perzanowski and Olech (2003). At present, the knowledge of vertebrates in the Bieszczady mountains is fairly good.
There is no doubt that the Bieszczady Park and its buffer zone represent the most valuable refuge for mammals and birds in Poland and one of the most valuable in Europe. In all, the records in Bieszczady include 284 vertebrate species, 231 in the Bieszczady Park alone (1 agnathan, 10 fish, 11 amphibians, 7 reptiles, 144 birds and 58 mammals).

The most primitive of mammalian species occurring in the Park is an agnathan – brook lamprey Lampetra planeri.

The studies of the fish fauna completed in the past (Solewski 1964, Rolik 1971) and recently (Kukula 1995), show major changes in the composition of fish species occurring in the Bieszczady brooks and streams over the most recent decades. Trout have disappeared and the numbers of undermouth and barbel have dropped whereas grayling and perch have become more numerous. The population of river trout is still fairly numerous. The research carried out by Kukula (1995), provide a kind of checklist of fish species occurring in the brooks and stream of the Bieszczady National Park: miller’s-thumb Cottus poecilopus, brook minnow Phoxinus phoxinus, river trout Salmo trutta m. fario, loach Orthias barbatus, chub Leuciscus cephalus, spotted barbel Barbus petenyi, rifle minnow Alburnoides bipunctatus, grayling Thymallus thymallus, perch Perca fluviatilis, dace Leuciscus leuciscus, and undermouth Chondrostoma nasus. The predatory fish species feed on the larvae of caddis-flies, stone-flies and May-flies, as well as fry of other species of fish. For this reason, the occurrence of high numbers of perch and grayling in the streams of the Bieszczady Park can threaten the populations of river trout.

Amphibians represent another interesting “old evolutionally ” group of vertebrates, living both in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. In the Park and its buffer zone, 11 species were found:

1. Crested newt Triturus cristatus is a lowland species, rare in the Park, occurring in lower valleys (up to 600 m a.s.l.). It occurs in two forms: “cristatus” and “dobrobicus”.

2. Mountain newt Triturus alpestris is a rare species which can be seen mostly in sites within the 500–700 m a.s.l. altitudinal zone. It seems that recently the population numbers have dropped within recent years.

3. Smooth newt Triturus vulgaris very rarely found outside the Park limits, e.g. in the San river valley at the foot of the Otryt range (in the Park’s buffer zone).

4. Carpathian newt Triturus montandoni is the most numerous newt species in the Bieszczady mountains, reaching up to 1 100 m a.s.l. Its a Carpathian endemite.

5. Salamander Salamandra salamandra is a fairly common species at the 500–900 m a.s.l. zone.

6. Yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata is a very common species in the Bieszczady mountains which sometimes occurs up to altitudes over 1 000 m a.s.l.

7. European toad Bufo bufo is fairly often recorded in the Bieszczady mountains occurring at altitudes up to ca. 900 m a.s.l.

8. Green toad Bufo viridis is a very rare species, recorded in the Bieszczadzki Park on only a few sites.

9. Tree frog Hyla arborea is a species very rarely recorded only in a few sites.

10. Common frog Rana temporaria is the most common amphibian species in the Bieszczady mountains occurring throughout the area up to the highest peaks.

11. Agile frog Rana dalmatina was recorded by Kowalski in 1970 and never seen since.



 
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