Šumava Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Šumava PLA was declared on a territory of 163 000 ha, but after the core area of the Šumava mountain range was declared a National Park, the surrounding PLA currently has an area of 99 400 ha. Šumava lies in the south–west of the Czech Republic, along the borders with Germany and Austria. The PLA was originally declared on 27th December, 1963 and lies in the Plzeňský kraj – Plzeň Region and the Jihočeský kraj – South Bohemian Region with the administration based in Vimperk. The Šumava NP and PLA Administration is the only combined administration in the Czech Republic and the PLA fulfils the role of buffer zone around the core area of the National Park. The PLA territory is predominantly forest covered (57 %), with a typically undulating montane and sub-montane landscape with a mosaic of forests and agricultural lands and scattered small settlements. We can also see the typical features of a historical cultural landscape which show us the various effects of the colonisation waves in the core of the Šumava Mountains came and left again. A wealth of folk architecture monuments have survived to this day in the Šumava towns and villages.

The mission of a protected landscape area is to protect all landscape values, to conserve the agricultural and forestry structure and of other land usage and built-up areas, to protect the rivers, streams and peat bogs as well as the monuments of folk architecture.

Within the Natura 2000 system of European protected areas, the whole PLA territory is included in the Šumava proposed Site of Community Importance and the Šumava SPA – Bird Area. The Šumava SPA – Bird Area was declared by the Czech Government in 2004 and includes the complete NP and PLA territories as well as the Kochánovsko Nature Park. The Šumava SPA – Bird Area exists to protect the hazel hen (Bonasa bonasia), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), corncrake (Crex crex), Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus), pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), black stork (Cioconia nigra), white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and Ural owl (Strix uralensis) and their biotopes. The Šumava proposed Site of Community Importance includes the whole of Šumava NP and PLA, Blanský les PLA and the most valuable parts of the Šumava Biosphere Reserve as well as valuable ecosystems found between Šumava and Blanský les on the territory of the Boletice Military Training Area. This site was established to protect natural habitat types and Species of Community Interest, including the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri), bullhead (Cottus gobio), species rich nardus grasslands, alpine and boreal heaths, peatbog ecosystems and acidophilous montane picea forests.