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Záhorie Protected Landscape Area

Wind, Sand and Stars

  • Location: Záhorská nížina lowland, between the Morava River and Malé Karpaty Mountains, western Slovakia
  • Size: 27,522 hectares
  • Established: 1988

A leaf is swept across the white sand dunes by the strong wind that blows this evening, but this cannot distract the antlion, who is persistently spiralling its trails in the sand looking for a good location to build its trap, knowing the wood lark will not leave its nest in the nearby forest while the sand storm lasts. For the antlion this could turn into a successful hunt.

The Záhorie Protected Landscape Area is the first proclaimed lowland protected landscape area in Slovakia. Three types of landscape structures create a colourful and dynamic periodically flooded environment with adequate living conditions for a wide range of plant and animal species. The area is well preserved because of its 40-year function as a border between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc. The area is part of an important route for migratory birds.

The northeastern part of the area is influenced by wind processes associated with the transfer of sand. Sand-hills, wind corrugated sheets, rounded sifts and crescentic dunes are the main landscape types here. The western part consists of river terraces and wide river alluvium as well as floodplain alluvial meadows. The meadows are also harmoniously distributed in the vicinity of swamp forests, densely interlaced by a network of old branches, river lakes and seasonal wetlands spread in the riparian forest zones and floodplains.

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