Javorina National Nature Reserve

The national nature reserve covers forest stands on the northern slopes of Mt. Velká Javořina (970 m) in the Bílé Karpaty (White Carpathian) mountain range and lies in the parish of Strání in the Zlínský kraj – Zlín Region. The NNR was declared in 2007 to replace the formerly declared Javořina National Nature Reserve and Javořina Nature Reserve, on a territory of 165.89 ha at elevations between 560 and 935 metres above sea level. The reserve covers natural forest stands which are left to spontaneous development and mainly consist of beech, sycamore and ash, with a primeval character at the highest elevations. The buffer zone consists of the montane summit meadow.
 
The geological basement is formed of folded sediments of the Bílé Karpaty Unit of the Magura Flysh, Javořina Formation with finely to moderately rhythmic sandstone – dominated Strata (Lower Paleocene to Upper Cretaceous age). The summit areas and ridge have steep slopes mostly oriented to the north and north – west.
 
The forest growths are differentiated according to their density and the elevation at which they grow and are of a primeval character. The bizarre shapes of the trees along the upper border of the forest along the ridge are the result of the peak phenomenon along the Javořina ridge. Several forest vegetation types are developed in the forested section of the NNR. Herb-rich beech forests (Dentario enneaphylli-Fagetum) grow on the gentler slopes, whereas on the steeper slopes with skeletal soil we can find talus and ravine forests (Lunario-Aceretum). Predominant tree species are European beech (Fagus sylvatica) together with European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). The herb layer includes: snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), hollowroot (Corydalis cava), mountain shield-fern (Polystichum aculeatum), blue sow-thistle (Cicerbita alpina), perennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva) and the willowherb Epilobium alpestre. The rare lichen Thelopsis rubella was also identified here. The summit meadow is dominated by matgrass (Nardus stricta) and several orchid species grow here, including the globe orchid Trausteinera globosa, fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) and early purple orchid (Orchis mascula).
 
The viviparous lizard (Lacerta vivipara) lives on the summit meadow and in forest clearings and the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) also lives in the forests. Nesting bird species include white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and other forest species. The summit meadow provides nesting sites for skylark (Alauda arvensis), meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) and whinchat (Saxicola rubetra).

The invertebrate population includes numerous species which are typical for mountains and Carpathian forests including the gastropods –the blue keelback slug Bielzia coerulans and the snails Monachoides vicinus and Faustina faustina. Among the ground beetles we can find Pterostichus pilosus, Pterostichus foveolatus, Abax schueppeli subsp. rendschmidtii, Carabus obsoletus and other forest species. The stag beetle Sinodendron cylindricum develops on the trunks of fallen and rotting beeches while the very rare beetle Mycetoma suturale lives on old bracket fungi. The rare weevils Otiorrhynchus equestris, Donus ovalis, Barynotus moerens and Alophus weber all live in the primeval forest growths and the very rare (close to extinction) dung beetle Aphodius hoberlandti also occurs here. On the mountain meadow and the forest fringes the rare flea beetle Minota halmae and the leaf beetle Chrysolina marcasitica and Chrysolina purpurascens can be found. The mountain species of daddy long legs - Platybunus bucephalus and Ischyropsalis helwigi live under the bark of dead trees and in the forest litter. Our largest daddy long legs - Gyas titanus lives on the banks of the stream in the gulley. Thirty eight spider species have been identified on the territory.
 
The original owners of the territory, the Lichtenstein noble family declared a protective regime on Javořina in 1909, which was similar to the current protection. During the 1950s dry and fallen trees were removed from the reserve but today the forests are left to natural development processes. The summit meadow is cut by hand once a year.

In the past the forests were thinned out but now nature is left to its own devices. The sycamore is rejuvenating naturally on the whole territory, as are the beeches in some areas.