Švařec National Nature Monument

The Švařec NNM was declared in 1985 on an area of 11.94ha at elevations of 370-495 metres above sea level in the parishes of Švařec and Koroužné in the kraj Vysočina -Bohemian-Moravian Highlands Region. The monument exists to protect a mosaic of xerophilous meadows and pasturelands on a steep, south-facing slope around 300 metres north-east of the village of Švařec.
 
The basement is built of biotite paragneisses, quartzite, mica schists and phyllites, which belong to the Proterozoic rocks of the Moravicum and further to the Svratecká klenba anticlinal dome and the Olešnice group. The soil cover is of typical Cambisol with varying depths of the soil profile.
 
The very rich population of juniper (Juniperus communis), along with bush-sized growths of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) along the field boundaries help to give these sun-washed slopes their typical character. Populations of the critically endangered autumn lady’s tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) grow at several microlocalities within the protected area. The south-facing slopes with a mosaic of short-stemmed fescue grasslands and communities of the Bromion alliance and oat-grass meadows of the Arrhenatherion alliance are the home of abundant populations of green-winged orchid (Orchis morio), fringed gentian (Gentianopsis ciliata), fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), tassel hyacinth (Muscari comosum) and even the great pasque flower (Pulsatilla grandis). In the wooded section of the monument typical grove species such as columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), martagon lily (Lilium martagon), snowdrop windflower (Anemone sylvestris) and greater butterfly orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) have survived to this day.
 
The Švařec NNM is an important refuge for thermophilous invertebrate species. Notable butterfly species which live on these meadows include the burnets Zygaena carniolica, Zygaena loti and Zygaena angelicae, spotted fritillary (Melitaea didyma), silver-spotted skipper (Hesperia comma), and a number of species of blue butterflies, including the critically endangered large blue (Maculinea arion). Here we can also find notable populations of the locust Psophus stridulus and the praying mantis (Mantis religiosa). Reptiles such as the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) and slowworm (Anguis fragilis) also live here at Švařec.
 
The main management methods are the renewal of sheep-grazing on the meadows and cutting the vegetation by hand in areas the sheep don’t graze fully, but also leaving alternate strips of land without intervention. Other parts of the protected area are cut by hand and the invasive small-reeds are repeatedly removed. The junipers have already been released from the opportunistic Scots pines, but it will be necessary to continue to reduce the growths of blackthorn and tree shoots on a regular basis. The Švařec NNM has been included in list of sites to be added to the national list of Sites of Community Importance.