Bohdanečský rybník National Nature Reserve

The Bohdanečský rybník NNR was redeclared in 2005 on a territory of 248 ha. At the same time a buffer zone was also declared, with two sections covering a total area of 60 ha. However the area has been specially protected since 1951. The subject of the protection in the NNR is the ornithological locality with rich populations of waders and other aquatic and wetland birds, the complex of aquatic, wetland and forest ecosystems, especially fen meadows, reedbeds, waterlogged alder carrs, willows and oaks around the Bohdanečský rybník fishpond. The border of the NNR with its buffer zone is also the border of the Bohdanečský rybník SPA – Bird area, which was established to protect the spotted crake (Porzana porzana). The territories of the Bohdanečský rybník and the Matka fishponds are also proposed as a Site of Community Importance to protect the European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina), dusky large blue (Maculinea nausithous), scarce large blue (Maculinea telejus) and large white-faced darter (Leucorrhinia pectoralis).

The NNR lies in the Pardubice region, to the north-west of Lázně Bohdaneč. The relief of the area is flat and lies at elevations around 220 metres above sea level. The basement is formed of modern sediments dominated by loam and loamy sand and on top of this hygromorphic flood-plain soils, gleysols, planosols and arenic cambisols have developed. The reserve includes the Bohdanečský and Matka fishponds with the three Zábranský fishponds in the buffer zone, all of which are fed by water from the Opatovice canal. The locality lies in a warm climatic zone.

A wide range of vegetation communities are represented in the reserve, from water surface biotopes to forest stands. The water surface is populated with underwater and floating aquatic macrophytes, the quantity and species composition of which varies considerably at different times. The richest species diversity is found in the Matka fishpond and the pool in the north-western bay. Several pondweed species can be found here. Shining pondweed (Potamogeton lucens) is common here, whereas blunt-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton obtusifolius) and sharp-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton acutifolius) are less common. Reddish pondweed (Potamogeton alpinus) has also been recorded here. Holly-leaved naiad (Najas marina) is an endangered species which is present in the reserve. Water violets (Hottonia palustris) can be found in the shallow pool in the Dolanský bay. Abundant populations of greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua) can be found in the littoral reedbeds around the Matka fishpond and scattered through other parts of the reserve. The reedbed growths are neighboured by meadow communities from sedge-based through moor-grass meadows with fragments of fen meadows with Davall’s sedge (Carex davalliana), early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata), western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris) and other rare species, to species-rich mesic oat-grass meadows. Stands of marsh willows grow on the banks of the ponds. Approximately 10 % of the NNR is forested, especially with marsh alder stands with marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris) in the undergrowth.

Varied animal communities are bound to the varied vegetation types. The wetlands in Bohdanečský rybník NNR are one of the most significant localities for the critically-endangered gastropod- the peaclam Pisidium pseudosphaerium in the Czech Republic and the endangered Sphaerium nucleus is also found here. A number of relict and rare spider species have been recorded here including Rugathodes instabilis, Theridion pictum, Gongylidiellum murcidum and others. Rare insects which are found here include green club-tailed dragonfly Ophiogomphus serpentinus, hairy dragonfly (Brachytron pratense), black darter (Sympetrum danae) and the butterflies lesser purple emperor (Apatura ilia), purple emperor (Apatura iris), poplar admiral (Limenitis populi) and others. The territory is also home to rich amphibian populations.

The territory was declared an SPA – Bird Area for its ornithological significance. In addition to the spotted crake (Porzana porzana), the interesting birds which nest here are the little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), water rail (Rallus aquaticus), great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), bearded tit (Panurus biamircus) and since 2005 – the crane (Grus grus). Of the rare vertebrates the otter (Lutra lutra) has been seen here.

The Bohdanečský rybník fishpond was founded at the beginning of the 16th century by Vilém of Pernštejn. At present semi-intensive fishfarming is carried out here. The Matka fishpond has not been stocked for a long time. Extensive revitalisation of the territory has been under way for the last several years. In the first phase the Matka fishpond was renewed and a lagoon with pools was formed in the north-western bay, forming a wide variety of biotopes which are gradually being colonized by rare plant and animal species. Several phases of removing mud from the Bohdanečský rybník have followed. The extensive meadow complex in the northern part of the reserve has not been cultivated for many years. In the last decade we have reintroduced hand cutting of these meadows, which has allowed the renewal of valuable biotopes and the return of valuable and endangered plant species. Nature trails with panels informing visitors about the natural values of the territory lead along the western and eastern borders of the NNR and a cycle trail also runs along the eastern edge of Bohdanečský rybník NNR.