New transboundary Wilderness in Central Europe

Right in the middle of Europe we find Thayatal National Park in Austria and Podyjí National Park in the Czech Republic. The two national parks recently decided to create a transboundary Wilderness together. Therefore, the management of both protected areas already started the Wilderness Audit process.

This transboundary cooperation guarantees the conservation of spectacular landscapes and biodiversity-rich valleys. There are not many other places in the central Europe with such diversity of flora and fauna. Also, research is an important activity in both national parks. It enables us to gain insights on the natural processes through long-term observations. But in this nominated Wilderness nature has the top priority. Visitors are welcome to learn, wonder and relax.

Please also read: People protect Podyjí Wilderness

Podyjí National Park

The Podyjí region has systematic protection since 1978, when the Podyjí Protected Landscape Area was declared. The most valuable part of the Podyjí Protected Landscape Area became part of Podyjí National Park in 1991. This area is home to (almost) natural mixed deciduous forest in the lower continental regions and Pannonia. The nominated Podyjí Wilderness includes a significant part of this forest. Furthermore, it includes the Podyjí WILDRiver.

Thayatal National Park

Thayatal National Park was created in 2000. Since then, the national park administration has a valuable mandate to protect this area. It allows nature to follow it’s course without human interference. The area includes an impressive valley with steep cliffs and gentle meadows, natural forests and a fascinating fauna. Fortunately, in places where economic interference has left its marks, national park staff foster and plant the indigenous trees. While in other areas, they only observe and monitor how fauna and flora develop.

Transboundary Wilderness

The Thayatal Wilderness and Podyjí Wilderness are going to become a unique transboundary Wilderness in central Europe. Currently, Podyjí Wilderness is already member of the European Wilderness Network. In addition, the nomination of the Thayatal Wilderness is currently in process. The nomination process counts also with possibility of gradual Wilderness enlargement and careful Wilderness stewardship.

The subject of the transboundary Thayatal and Podyjí Wilderness will be also discussed at the TransParcNet meeting in June 2018.

Vlado Vancura

Vlado Vancura is the Deputy Chairman and Director of wilderness of the European Wilderness Society and is based in Liptovsky Hradok, Slovakia.

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