Moravský kras Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Moravský kras PLA covers the most important karst region in the Czech Republic. It is a territory much studied by scientists from many fields, but tourism in the area is also of great significance. More than 1000 caves have been discovered in Moravský kras and more are yet to be discovered. The Amatérské jeskyně cave system is the longest cave system in the Czech Republic at nearly 34 km and the Rudické propadání is the deepest creek sinkhole in the country. For the quantity and density of dolines, this region has no equal. We know that 22 of the 24 species of bats occurring in the Czech Republic live here. The rich fauna of the PLA territory includes 2200 species of butterflies (66 % of all kinds found in the Czech Republic). Few protected areas can boast of having their own endemic species, but only in Moravský kras can we find at least 5 species of cave-dwelling invertebrates. From the plant community, the areas endemic sub-species is the primrose Alpine bells (Cortusa matthioli subsp. moravica). The flora and fauna in Moravský kras is complemented by a number of notable historical monuments. The monumental church by the architect and builder Santini in Křtiny is a great work of Baroque period architecture. We can also find unique evidence of ancient animal and human occupation in the cave sediments.

Moravský kras was declared a Protected Landscape Area in 1956, the second in the Czech Republic, to protect its unique nature and exceptional cultural and historical monuments. The PLA has an area of 92 km² and includes a large number of sites with the strictest protection. The First Zone (core zone) covers 17 % of the total area and includes 17 Nature Reserves and Monuments, of which 6 are of the national category. The landscape value of the whole area was confirmed when Punkva underground river system was included as a significant wetland site under the Ramsar Convention (‘Ramsar site’). Nearly half of the PLA territory was also included in the Natura 2000 network of European protected areas.