Pálava Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Pálava Protected Landscape Area (PLA) was declared by the Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia on 19th March, 1976 in the former county of Břeclav, now the Jihomoravský kraj – South Moravian Region. The PLA covers an area of 83 km² of which around 30 % are forests, especially on Děvín and in the PLA’s eastern section and 55 % are agricultural lands; water surfaces make up 2 %, settlement areas 2.5 % and other land types around 10.5 %. The western part of the territory, on the Pavlovské vrchy, is a range of limestone hills, while the eastern part, the Milovická pahorkatina has the character of a rugged upland. Only the north–eastern part of the PLA, which reaches the Dyje Morava alluvial plain and the southern tip in the Nesytská kotlina basin are flatlands. The highest point is the peak of Děvín (554.4 m) and the lowest point is the Dyje river at the eastern edge of Bulhary village at 152.5 metres.

The mission of Pálava PLA is to protect the cultural agricultural landscape, which has been continuously influenced by human activity since the Old Stone Age. The long-term aim is to maintain the wide variety of natural and semi-natural communities with high species diversity where thermophilous plant and animal species predominate, and at the same time to conserve the typical landscape character.

The region is dominated by the limestone ridge or klippen belt with natural and semi-natural rocky, steppe and forest biotopes as well as notable geomorphological and geological formations. A near-natural tree species composition has survived in the forests. The area is of great biogeographical significance and has a very rich flora and fauna, and many species are found nowhere else in the Czech Republic. The Pavlovské vrchy hills represent an excellent example of an ‘island’ range of hills surrounded by warm lowlands, which gives it a dominant character that undoubtedly attracted prehistoric humans to the area. The rich, natural and harmonious landscape is complemented by a large number of historic monuments. Pálava PLA became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on 16th June, 1986 and in 2004 this Biosphere Reserve was extended to include the Lednice and Valtice areas and the alluvial plain of the Morava and Dyje rivers above their confluence. As a result it was renamed the Dolní Morava Biosphere Reserve.

The territory of Pálava PLA was also included in the Natura 2000 system, which includes territories with significant natural value at a supra-national level. Eight proposed Sites of Community Importance and a Special Protection Area (Bird Area) can be found within the Pálava PLA.