Kursiu nerijos nacionalinis parkas (en)

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Kursiu nerijos nacionalinis parkas (en)

  1. 1. Kursiu Nerija National Park
  2. 2. Kuršių nerija, the Curonian Spit, is a narrow strip of sand stretching 97 kilometres along the Baltic Sea in western Lithuania.
  3. 3. The legend According to the legend, the spit was formed a long time ago by Neringa, a giant girl who poured the sandy peninsula into the Baltic Sea to protect the peaceful bay from the stormy sea and create an embankment for fishermen to live. Thus, today the eastern shores of the Curonian Spit are washed by the Curonian Lagoon, while the Baltic Sea washes the western ones.
  4. 4. Facts about park One part of the 50 kilometres long Curonian Spit belongs to the Republic of Lithuania. The other one to the Russian Federation. With its still drifting sand dunes, the sea side forests cherishing the hundred-years-old pine trees, dunes covered by a mountain pines’ carpet planted by hand, white sand beaches and the old fishermen villages, the Curonian spit is truly unique! In order to preserve the valuable landscape complex, Kuršių nerija National Park was established in 1991.
  5. 5. Cultural and natural heritage of international significance  In 2000, the Curonian Spit cultural landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  The Curonian Spit is part of “Natura 2000”, a network of protected territories in Europe, connecting its most valuable natural habitats. It is also belongs to HELCOM, which seeks to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea through intergovernmental cooperation.
  6. 6. Human habitation on this elongated sand dune peninsula dates back to prehistoric times. Throughout this period it has been threatened by the natural forces of wind and waves. Its survival to the present days has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit, dramatically illustrated by continuing stabilization and reforestation projects.
  7. 7. Natural values The dunes are an exclusive element of the Curonian Spit landscape. Here you can explore all stages of dune formation. You will find embryonic shifting dunes, humid dune slacks, decalcified fixed dunes, wooded dunes, white and grey dunes, which are famous for their exceptional beauty.
  8. 8. Natural values Eleven types of protected habitats of European importance occur in the Curonian Spit. It is the home to rare species of insects, birds, and plants specific and typical for the place. Some of them are endangered and included in the Red Book of Lithuania. There are 37 species of mammals living in Curonian Spit. Here you can meet fox and hare, boar and beaver, roe deer, elk, and many other mammal species.
  9. 9. Natural values Every year millions of birds fly through the area as the migration route from the Baltic Sea to the White Sea through the Curonian Spit. The coastlines along the Curonian Spit Lagoon and Baltic Sea are important for migratory and wintering water birds. In addition, there are large concentrations of migrating passerines and birds of prey, and the Curonian Spit is famous for the largest breeding colony of Great Cormorants in Lithuania. This is a true paradise for the bird watchers!
  10. 10. Natural values About 50 fish species live in the Curonian Lagoon including the most common such as: roach, perch, redeye, white bream and common bream. Bream is very fearful during spawning. If frightened, it might never return to its native area. This is why it was prohibited to sail during spawning or ring a church bell near bream territory.
  11. 11. Grass vegetation • 2922 ha in the park have no forest cover. These are mostly sand areas, which are 25% of the total park area. • The distinction of flora in the Curonian Spit is defined by strong winds, drifting sand, soils that heat up quickly but they are dry and infertile, salty water, and sudden and frequent weather changes. All these factors together make the coastal plains similar to the steppe conditions in the southeastern part of Europe.
  12. 12. Flora 1. Single specimens of the Baltic rocket 2. Primary dunes with sea sandwort 3. Marram - lyme grass - goat's beard - toadflax covered dunes 4. Sheep's bit - everlasting sand plain 5. Bog willow - crowberry zone 6. Lichen pine forest 7. Thickets of the dwarf mountain pine (with intersections of the Baltic rocket, marram - lyme grass - goat's beard toadflax and sheep's bit - everlasting) 8. Birch forest
  13. 13. Nagliai nature reserve area - 1669.01 hectares, it extends 9 kilometers. The main protected objects: Gray (Dead) Dunes, the beach, lagoon, sand and kupstynė complexes, rare plants included in the Red Book, 4 sand bound villages, 2 old graveyards , ancient dunes and aesthetically valuable landscapes. Because of recurrent strong winds in white dunes of Nagliai nature reserve form an impressive ravines and pitting, as a result, some areas of the sand fragments of old soils uncover. There is prohibited any activity including recreation in the reserve. Here, the nature is preserved for scientific purposes and for monitoring.
  14. 14. Reserves Grobstas nature reserve area - 277.33 hectares, it is the Parnidis landscape and the state border of the Russian Federation. The reserve stands out for its unique landscape and its distinctive forms of relief. The main protected objects: the great shifting sand dunes, coastal sand plains complex, sand bounded Nida village. Grobstas nature reserve "pearl" Gliders dune - once has been the highest dune in the Curonian Spit (70m.), but exposed to strong autumn winds decreased to 50m.
  15. 15. Reserves • • • • • Kursiu Nerija National Park landscape encountered five reserves: Parnidis landscape reserve Karvaiciai landscape reserve Heron Hill landscape reserve Witches mountain landscape reserve Alksnynės landscape reserve
  16. 16. Human impact to the landscape Due to extensive forest clear cuttings, especially after the Seven-Year War (1756-1763), wind erosion appeared. Wind reshaped old parabolic dunes, forming a new relief. The Great Dune Ridge started to grow. It buried 14 villages under the thick layer of sand: Naumiestis, Priedinis, Senieji and Naujieji Nagliai, Karvaiciai, Senieji Kuncai, Naujoji Pilkopa, Senoji Nida and others. The sand threatened humans, so they started looking for ways to tame it. At the beginning they were building wooden barriers, which helped very little.
  17. 17. Human impact to the landscape The radical turn happened in 1768, when a professor of Wittenberg University J.O.Titius offered to plant dunes with saplings of the mountain pine, which were brought from Denmark. The planting was started in the middle of the 19th century. The Great Dune Ridge was strengthened and the foredune ridge was formed along the spit. The foredune ridge prevented sand drifting from the seacoast. This rather interesting object has been erected over several centuries. People started to work on it in 1805 and they still continue. Rows of pickets should be nailed along the coast at first. The moving sand stops around them and forms the ridge.
  18. 18. Parnidis dune Parnidis dune is a favorite place for tourists to visit. The Dune is semi-planted, semi-Shifting. There is the stationary solar clock - calendar on the south-western slope of Parnidis dunes. From Parnidis dunes you can enjoy the diversity of Spit landscape.
  19. 19. Herons and cormorants colonies There is Herons Hill in old grove, named after the nearby grey herons and cormorants colonies. This is one of the largest bird colonies in Europe. According to data of the year 2000, there were bred couples of 582 grey herons and 1361 cormorants.
  20. 20. Hill of Witches Midsummer has been celebrated on the old Hill of Witches. Nowadays, walking the mountain trails you can see the unique exposure to the open air. 71 sculptures are carved from oak in 1979 1981 summers when folk - wood carvers came together to Juodkrantė from all Lithuania (mostly Lowland). The theme of old mountain sculptures is a world of witches, devils, fairy tales and heroes of Lithuanian legends.
  21. 21. Vecekrugas Hill Man-made pine carpet with all its beauty can be seen from the old taverns Hill (Curonian Vecekrugas) at Karvaiciai landscape reserve. It is said that there has been a tavern at the foot of the mountain. The height of Vecekrugas is about 67.2 m.
  22. 22. Culture and traditions The rich cultural heritage of the Curonian Spit includes fishing settlements that are considered valuable both from an ethnocultural, historical and aesthetic point of view. There are architectural works of unique scale and archeological sites, mostly villages buried under the sand.
  23. 23. Culture and traditions The settlements of the Curonian spit until the 19th century were typical fishing villages – monuments of special significance to the kursiai community way of living and ethnographic traditions which are not maintained anymore. The earliest fishing settlements were buried in the sand when the forest cover was removed. Those that have survived since the beginning of the 19th century are all to be found along the coast of the Curonian Lagoon. There is a specific structure of fishermen homesteads with traditional wooden dwellings, coloured dark brown and blue and decorated with wooden carvings on the gables.
  24. 24. Culture and traditions One of very significance things are the traditional grave markers known as krikstai. These are timber planks decorated with flowers, hearts and even animal motifs such as birds’ silhouettes.

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