„W zgodzie z naturą - LIFE+ dla Lasów Janowskich”

*7110 Raised bogs with peat forming vegetation

     Alive raised bogs occur at the area of Janowskie Forests in type *7110-1 Lowland raised bogs at area over 250 ha. The largest and the best preserved patches occur in Imielty Ług Reserve and in Rakowskie Swamp in the eastern part of this area. Small patches of varying level of preserved are located north of Nieszawa Ponds and south from Zaklików.

     Raised bogs in ecological sense belongs to the extreme habitats: they are characterized by constant high humidity, strongly acidic (pH 3,5-4,5) and extremely low trophic. Such conditions arise as a result of total isolation by a peat bog layer from influence of groundwater or surface water. In this case all plants are fully dependent on rain water. In the first step, rain water is retentioned in special sphagnum cells, then permanently stored in peat and it may constitute up to 97% of peat total weight. Thanks to that fact, raised bogs make separated and independent hydrological systems. In functional sense, peat bog consists of two layers: acrotelm and catotelm. Acrotelm, the surface layer, is suitable above the average water level in peat bog. Acrotelm is a peat forming layer. There takes place a process of microbial decomposition of dead plant mass from currently occurring vegetation. Catotelm is a dead layer of peat, always saturated with water and thus not subject to further degrade. Reducing the level of water in the bog disturbs the balance between those two layers. Extremely, it leads to the total disappearance of acrotelm and reduce the volume of cacotelm by decomposition of stored peat. Surface of a raised bogs is more or less convex, which within the limits of the entire bog is marking the diversity of moisture and trophic.

Characteristic species: peat moss, bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia), bog cranberry (Oxyccocus palustris), hare’s-tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum).

Threats that exist for natural habitat *7110 raised bogs with peat forming vegetation are: development of trees in terms of lowering water level on a peat-bog, conversion of habitat due to the influx of nutrients from catchment areas and supply of nutrients as a consequence of the development of shrubs and trees, will result in the depletion of the characteristic species and the habitat structure, that can develop invasive species like cane.

Potential threats to natural habitat 7110 raised bogs with peat forming vegetation are: modifying of water management where habitats are sensitive for decreasing water level. Lowering the groundwater level causes disappearing of habitat.

The best preserved and very well hydrated bogs require passive protection. On the other bogs, it is necessary to conduct active protection, mainly by neutralization of drainage systems. In addition:

  • It is necessary to construct the valves on trenches to drainage bogs and their neighbors,
  • In order to maintain position of plants, it is necessary to cut birch, pine and willow saplings.

Wełnianka na torfowisku w rez. Imielty Ług Fot. T. Wąsik

7140 Transitional Mires and bogs

     Transitional Mires and bogs occur within the territory of Janowskie Forests in type 7140-1 Transitional Mires and Bogs at lowlands on the surface nearly 400 ha. At the area occurs patches in different size. The largest patch is located at Rakowskie Swamp. Significant accumulation of patches is south of Zaklików, near Nieszawa Ponds north of Wola Rzeczycka, east of Świnki and near Imielty Ług.

Transitional bog occurs in the endorheic river basin located in the reduction of land completely filled with peat, with the water level right on a flat surface, periodically over surface. Plants that build that bog, are rooted in an overhydrated surface layer, which waves and bends under the strong pressure. The habitat is supplied in varying propositions by rain and surface water, sometimes also sub-surface. In terms of the abundance in nutrients this is an oligonucleotide, oligo and mesotrophic habitat, the pH of the water and peat is strongly acidic to weakly acidified. In all cases, it is the element of the complex, consisting of either a body of water, swampy bog and developing, varied in terms of plants, or just marsh and bog area, which is also not fully homogeneous natural system.

     Flora at the transitional mires and bogs is very diversed. The common feature is a two-layer phytocoenoses structure, which consists of a layer of moss and herbs; woody species at constant water conditions may settle down only occasionally and for a short time. A layer of moss is built by peat (exclusively or predominantly), then in mostly it is very compact, or by mosses, where it can be very diversed. This layer is bonded by rhizomes and roots of vascular plants, which can make very different connections, from 5 to even 90%. Most often there are extremely poor floristic collections, rarely number of species exceeds 20. In both, herbaceous and moss layers, there is a dominance of 1-2 species. Phytocoenoses have the appearance of sedge with a substantial admixture of dicots: purple marshlocks (Comarum palustre), bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata).

     Characteristic species of the habitat: bog-sedge (Carex limosa), slender sedge (Carex lasiocarpa), lesser tussock-sedge (Carex diandra), creeping sedge (Carex chordorrhiza), bottle sedge (Carex rostrata), bog arum (Calla palustris), purple marshlocks (Comarum palustre), white beak-sedge (Rhynchospora alba), common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), alpine bulrush (Baeothryon alpinum), pod grass (Scheuchzeria palustris), English sundew (Drosera anglica), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile), slim-stem small reed grass (Calamagrostis stricta).

Threats that exists for natural habitat 7140 Transitional mires and bogs (mostly with vegetation of the Scheuchzerio-Caricetea): development of trees in terms of lowering water level on a transitional peat-bog, transforming the habitat as a result of influx of nutrients from catchment areas, the supply of nutrients as a consequence of the development of the shrubs and trees resulting in the atrophy of the characteristic species and habitat structure, invasive alien species – development of invasive species, like reed.

     Potential threats for natural habitat 7140 Transitional mires and bogs (mostly with vegetation of the Scheuchzerio-Caricetea) are: water management modifying – this habitat is sensitive to changes in the water level, lowering the level of the groundwater causes the disappearance of habitat.

The best preserved and very well hydrated bogs require passive protection. On the other bogs, it is necessary to conduct active protection, mainly by neutralization of drainage systems. In addition:

  • It is necessary to construct the valves on trenches to drainage bogs and their neighbors,

In order to maintain position of plants, it is necessary to cut birch, pine and willow saplings.

7150 depressions on peat substrates with vegetation from Rhynchosporion

Depressions on peat substrates occur at the area of Janowskie Forests near Łysaków on Wilczanowskie Ponds and at the territory of forest district Janów Lubelski, Lipa, section 22,94,95.

The habitat is natural or semi-natural and it is one of the elements of the raised bogs and wet moors complex, while at the sandy-bog rims associated with water reservoirs, there is ecotone zone between water and habitats outside the range of water during her high level. Vegetation is built with very small number of species, usually growing in a small shorting, a considerable part of them is weak competitively, requires free space from other plants to development. Phytocoenoses can be ephemeral or constant. They occur only in a shallow peat layer of strongly sanded peat or sand with a small amount of humus. The moisture content of the substrate which periodically is very high, can be dried during dry years. The pH of the soil is from 4 to 5 pH.

Characteristic species of the habitat are: white beak-sedge (Rhynchospora alba), inundated club moss (Lycopodiella inundata), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia).

Those habitats are highly sensitive at changes of: water conditions, trophic conditions, trampling, afforestation and peat obtaining.

Peatlands protecting should be implemented through:

  • Maintenance an optimum water and trophic conditions, removal of trees and shrubs,

In the agricultural landscape, leaving unused agricultural land area – as a buffer zone, which will insulate bog from fertilizers runoff from environment, and will protect them against eutrophication and chemical pollution from agriculture.

91D0* Woods and bog forests in type 91 D0 – 2* swampy pine forest

Those forests occur at whole area in the form of slices in different size. Totally area of habitat is over 1100 ha. Its condition is varied, most of the patches is simplified (B), another part is degraded (C) due to dehydration. Only small areas are optimal (A).

Swampy pine forest occurs in places with very high level of rain stagnant groundwater. In its natural state water mirror does not drop below 50 cm beneath the surface of the land.

Phytocoenoses of swamp boron have essentially the construction of a four layers. In the tree layer, which is low, loose or medium compact, dominated tree is scots pine. Besides, there grows downy birch. The shrub layer is poorly developed, but undergrowth is very lush. It is built with: Marsh Labrador tea (Ledum palustre), bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), bog cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris), hare’s-tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), European blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea). In the moss layer grows a large number of peat.

Characteristic species of the habitat are: Marsh Labrador tea (Ledum palustre), bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), peat moss (Sphagnum spp.), bog cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris), bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia), hare’s-tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum).

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Pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens)

Poland is located in western border of pasque flower occurrence.

In Poland over 80% of habitats are located within voivodeships: Podlaskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie. In voivodeships: Mazowieckie, Świętokrzyskie and Lubelskie these habitats are relatively rare.

Pasque flower is a perennial with a thick rhizome, all silver, at the time of flowering 7-20 cm height, during the fruiting up to 40 cm.

Flowers grow singly, they are large, raised, firstly bell-shaped, later they open broadly (they have shape of plate). They are entomophilus.

Flowering period: from March to May

Fruits: numerous one seeded achenes equipped with volatile apparatus.

Pasque flower grows in overexposed areas of a boric communities, in well-lit forests, thickets, on dry grasslands, in a sunny, warm places, at dry, sandy, poor and strongly acidic soils.

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Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus)

     It is the biggest newt in Poland. Sexually matures males have a length of 85-150 mm and 95-165mm in females. Its skin on the back and sides of the body is clearly beans. The back is even, grey or black. On the sides of the body (at the bottom) and at the throat, on a dark background, distinct white dots. Ventral side of the body is colored by yellow or orange, with black spots.

     Newt breeds from March to June, preferably in small containers of standing water. Males breeds at breeding places (a grouping of breeding males are visited by females looking for a partner for reproduction). To perform a complex mating dance males choose the fragment of the tank with a small extent of submerged vegetation and therefore prefer tanks larger than smooth newt. Female in several stages consist of one approximately 200 large (4-6 mm), yellow-green eggs. Each egg is immediately wrapped in a one leaf. For 1000 eggs to sexual maturity coming on average only 5 individuals. Growing of larvae in water until metamorphosis (transformation) lasts 70-90 days.

     After transformation (late summer) most of the individuals leave reservoirs and stay close to them. A few of them can overwinter in the water. The survival rate of mature individuals is about 65%. They reach sexual majority at the age of 2-3 years. The oldest individual live for several years.

     During the landlife a newt prefers a highly humid habitat. Newt is active especially by night, during the day only when weather is warm and rainy or in water, during the mating season. Newt spends its day usually hidden in earth shelters or under a variety objects (stones, bark, etc.). In winter it falls asleep at the end of October, after the first frosts. It hibernates in burrows, under piles of wood, stones, leaves. From hibernation it wakes up frequently in March and goes into the water shortly after leaving the ice from the tank. In the water the first males appear, followed by the females. After mating and laying eggs majority of adults left the tanks. Males are staying in the water for longer than females and they can be found there in the fall.

Both larvae and adults are active predators.

Great crested newt in the area was found at only 3 positions.

Threats to the species are:

  • Land drainage,
  • Pollution or backfilling of water reservoirs

Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) is covered by strict protection in the country. It is included in Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive and in Annex I of the Bern Convention.

Red List IUCN (1996) – lowest risk,

Polish Red List – NT(near threatened) close to endangered,

Polish Red Book – NT (near threatened) close to endangered,

Carpathian List – highly endangered.

1188 fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina)

This is an amphibian with a small body building. Body length up to 6 cm, bodyweight about 6g. Bellied skin, even with little irritation emits a dense, foamy phlegm. The venom contained in it is toxic for animals and humans.

After leaving the winter hideouts fire-bellied toads appear in the reservoirs at the beginning of April. Mating, which are accompanied with issuing of voices, starting later, when water temperature reaches approximately 15 degrees, which usually occurs in mid-April. Mating and egg-lying occurs at a slightly higher temperature, and it is often associated with the rainfalls. Mating lasts approximately 3 months – until the end of July, sometimes a little longer. During the mating season, males emit sounds floating on the water surface. Males make noises in small groups, alternating with their closest neighbors. Thus establish territories, which they defend against intruders. The details of connecting to the pairs are unknown. Probably their voices attract females that follow to chosen males.

Eggs are docked to a vertical underwater plants stems in a several centimeters below the surface of water. Tadpoles feed on algae, which scrape a wide-tooth comb from the surface of the plants or the bottom of the tank. They reach their maximum length after approx. 3 months later, after laying eggs.

Tadpoles that have not completed their metamorphosis before winter, have not ability of Overwintering and they die. Young fire-bellied toads accumulate in the coastal band, shallows, tanks where they intensive feed. In the autumn they leave water tanks and wander ashore in search of hiding places. They overwinter buried in the ground, rodent burrows, under rocks, etc., often in the company of adults and other amphibians. Fire-bellied toad reaches its sexually mature probably after two overwinters, in the third year of life.

Fire-bellied toad is strongly associated with water, which is almost never left. Fire-bellied toad is an lowland species, that prefers warm, shallow water reservoirs with rich vegetation: oxbow lakes, flooded meadows, ponds, small lakes and ponds, clay, gravel pits, furrows. They avoid flowing water and cold and deep lakes. These amphibians can reproduce even in small water tanks, if they are not covered with duckweed shut-off light, and the pressure of predators is not too big. Transformed fire-bellied toads are staying in the shallows, so the tanks with steep banks are inadequate. Fire-bellied toads quickly colonize the newly created ponds. Adults, even in the period of breeding, can travel up to a distance of several hundred meters. If ponds or backwaters riverside dry up, they move to the other. Observations indicate that there is a dynamic grow up of structure of local toads population which focused and distracting depending on the amount of rainfall. These populations are subpopulation of interlocking migrations. In such an arrangement, reproductive success can be varied, depending on the conditions at different periods and places. The network’s survival is dependent on the maintenance of subpopulation of mosaic environment connected by passages allowing dispersion and environmental barrier (roads with high traffic).

The conditions of the area – B

Threats to the species:

  • Drainage of wetlands,
  • Pollution or backfilling of water reservoirs,
  • Liquidation oxbow lakes and river regulation.

Fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina) is covered by strict protection in the country. It is included in Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive and in Annex I of the Bern Convention.

Capercaillie (Grouse) (Tetrao urogallus)

It is the largest and rarest galliformes representative in Poland. Grouse, besides old cocks, live in herds (families) from summer until mid-February, then the herds disintegrate. During the day capercaililie lives on the ground in search of food, at the night ascend at the tree and remain there until dawn. Vast and tight complexes of mixed forests in the lowlands and in the mountains along the upper border of the forest. Grouse prefers borons (pine in the lowlands, in the mountain spruce and fir) and natural forests with varied undergrowth. It toots generally in unpopulated places, in a secluded forest wilderness, mostly in moist forests and swamps, on mosses overgrown with dwarf pines, often also birch, aspen and spruce where the undergrowth is dominated by sphagnum mosses, marsh and bilberry. It is overwintering in drier places, usually in the enclaves of sandy hills and pine old-growth surrounded by mud and wetlands. In this mosaic habitat it also takes spring tooting. Grouse shows a far-reaching habitat conservatism, its toot places have a fairly fixed location. They feed on cranberries and blueberries, buds and leaves of the trees, preferably aspen, needles of pine, fir and larch , insects, ants eggs, pupae and snails. Besides it also feeds on cereal. Grouse swallows also small stones, which in its stomach are like small querns to facilitate digestion. It is sedentary species. Its personal area closes within a few miles from toot place. Breeds begins in late March and lasts through April. It is a polygamous species. Only female are engaged in incubation and taking care of offspring. Nest is a shallow hole scratched in the ground and scantily covered by leaves, grass and pine needles; under the cover of the trunk, roots, branches, tall grass or heather built while tooting. It consist from 6 to 10 eggs. Incubation on eggs (only by females) takes place in May and usually lasts 27 days. Chicks hatch out synchronously within 20 hours. The chicks remain in the nest under the hen even more than 28 hours without eating. They are very sensitive to temperature changes and rainfalls which at this stage of growing strongly reduce the population.

Currently in Poland, grouse are found in 4 isolated population: Augustów – Podlasie (Augustów Forest, Białowieża Forest, Knyszyń Forest), Lublin (Strzeleckie Forests, Solska Forest, Janowskie Forests), Carpathian (Bieszczady Mountains, West Carpathian Mountains) and Sudety – Lower Silesia (Sudety Mountains, Lower Silesian Borons). Currently, their number is approximately 470-570 individuals. This species is not covered by the National Environmental Monitoring.

At Janów Lubelski Forest District in 1983 capercaillie population was estimated at 30 cocks. In 1997, it was estimated that in the area there is a few dozens of birds and it was found that the number of birds stabilized (Wójciak, Piotrowska 1997). In 2003-2007 in the area of refuge recorded 5-10 cocks (Wilk i in. 2010). During the inventory in 2010, found 3-6 males. For many years, the population of this species in the refuge remains a downward trend. Capercaillie population in the refuge represents 1,5% of the national population.

The area of refuge is designated as Important Bird Area (IBA) for this species of criterion C6.

The main threats to this species occurring in the area are: predators pressure, harassment and penetration of tooting grounds, introduction of deciduous species in undergrowth and forest stands, meliorations.

Species protection in Poland: species is covered by strict protection, requiring active protection, which is not related to exemptions from the prohibition arising out of activities connected with the: rational management of agriculture, forestry or fishing, establish protection zones refuges, breeding sites or regular residence. (In Acts of 2004, No. 220, Item 2237)

European beaver (Castor fiber)

European beaver (Castor fiber) is currently the largest living European and North American rodent. An adult body length is even up to 140 cm (including tail), and the mass reaches 29 kg. Beavers are perfectly adapted to life in the water. They are excellent divers and they can hold breath for a long time. They can work and eat under water. The most famous beaver specialty is building dams. Flood plain created due to dams helps beavers with material transport. Among dams are built lodges, or sleeping chambers. They are usually made of branches and mud, which provide good termal isolation. Beaver is a herbivore rodent. It eats leaves, bark and branches of deciduous tree, as well as aquatic plants.

European beaver is present in large numbers throughout whole Poland. In recent years, its number has increased significantly and more and more often it is seen as a pest that flooded fields and meadows. For this reason, beaver are more and more often being killed. Despite that, Polish population of beaver is not threatened.

In project area exists and migrates about 30 to 40 individuals.

Species protection in Poland – partial protection, compensation for loses, for damage done to the agricultural, forestry or fisheries – Act of 16th April 2004 about Nature Protection. (In Acts 04.92.880 from 30th April 2004, section 10).