Miroslavské kopce National Nature Monument

The Miroslavské kopce Hills NNM covers a total area of 30.8 hectares and consists of seven separate low hills at elevations between 239 and 302 metres above sea level to the north-east of the town of Miroslav in the Jihomoravský kraj – South Moravian Region. The monument was declared in 2004 to protect thermophilous communities of steppe waste ground and communities on outcrops of the conglomerate basement with the occurrence of many specially protected and endangered plant and animal species.
 
The hillocks are predominantly built of Miroslav conglomerates and a rugged relief developed here due to the varying resistance to weathering and erosion of the conglomerates. The conglomerates contain boulders of Devonian limestone of up to 30cm in diameter, with lesser representations of granitoids and crystalline shales. Neogene sandy sediments can also be found in places and loess deposits dating from the end of the Ice Ages have also been preserved.
 
The flora on the Miroslav Hills is characterized by the presence of mesophilous shrub growths and thermophilous species which are typical for broad-leaved and bushy grasslands of a sub-Pannonic steppe. The predominant grasses include upright brome (Bromus erectus), the fescues Festuca rupicola and Festuca valesiaca and dwarf sedge (Carex humilis). Notable herb species include the garlic Allium flavum, goldilocks aster (Linosyris vulgaris), the common globularia Globularia bisnagarica, tassel hyacinth (Muscari comosum), great pasque flower (Pulsatilla grandis), spring pheasant’s-eye (Adonis vernalis), early star of Bethlehem (Gagea bohemica) and purple mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum). The orchids are represented here by the rare military orchid (Orchis militaris).
 
The occurrence of many protected animal species (especially insects) is bound to the variety of vegetation on the hills. Notable species include growing numbers of praying mantis (Mantis religiosa), as well as numerous ground beetles, longhorn beetles, oil beetles, the jewel beetle Coraebus rubi, the Hungarian rose-chafer Netocia ungarica and the forest caterpillar hunter Calosoma sycophanta.
 
Notable birds which live on the shrubs and trees in the monument include the red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), wryneck (Jynx torquilla), barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria) and the Syrian woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus). Quail (Coturnix coturnix) and grey partridge (Perdix perdix) also nest here.
 
Management activities are focussed on eliminating introduced and invasive species such as the Austrian pine (Pinus nigrus) and false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), which are gradually being removed. A themed nature trail takes visitors to the most interesting parts of the monument.