Malhotky National Nature Monument

The Malhotky NNM covers an area of 9.47ha and lays in the parish of Nevojice, to the north of the road from Bučovice to Uherské Hradiště in the Jihomoravský kraj – South Moravian Region. The protected area was declared in 1981 to protect a variety of thermophilous communities on the grassy and shrub-covered slopes with the neighbouring open deciduous forest stands. These valuable steppe communities lie on south-facing slopes with the forest vegetation on the upper edge of the slopes.
 
The rugged macrorelief consists of steep, rocky and clay-covered slopes which are modelled by the erosional activities of the Litava river in the calcareous rocks of the Žďánice flysh. In places the rocky basement is overlain by loess and numerous effects of gravitational landslips and undulations of the soil covering can be seen here. Remnants of the former man-made terracing of the slopes with old fruit orchards can also be found today.
 
The thermophilous flora is represented by steppe and grassland vegetation with a high proportion of specially protected plant species. The slopes have strong populations of lady orchid (Orchis purpurea) and military orchid (Orchis militaris), which frequently displays the effects of hybridisation. The fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) and the common twayblade (Listera ovata) are also present on the slopes. Other flowering plants which are typical for Pannonic regions in South Moravia include the grape hyacinth (Muscari comosum), spring pheasant’s-eye (Adonis vernalis), burning bush (Dictamnus albus), snowdrop windflower (Anemone sylvestris), the milk-vetch Astragalus onobrychis, the garlic Allium flavum and the Irish fleabane (Inula salicina).
 
The more valuable sections of the forest stands are mainly thermophilous oak woods with pubescent oaks (Quercus pubescens). Orchids which grow in the shade among the trees include white helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium), lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia) and birdsnest orchid (Neottia nidus-avis). Typical forest herbs on humus-rich soils include lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), martagon lily (Lilium martagon) and bastard balm (Melittis melissophyllum), whereas purple gromwells (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum) form thick carpets in some areas. Many rare fungi species have also been documented here, including the oak bolete (Boletus appendiculatus).
 
The monument is the home of a great may insect species, including the green tiger beetle (Cicindella campestris) and the Tropinota hirta of the Cetoniidae. Numerous ant species and spiders such as the purse-web spider Atypus piceus can also be found here. The butterflies at Malhotky NNM include the burnet Zygaena carniolica, blue-spot hairstreak (Satyrium spini), green-underside blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) and the dryad (Minois dryas). Rarer vertebrates which can be found on the Malhotky slopes include the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) and birds such as the red-backed shrike (Lanius