Kladské rašeliny National Nature Reserve

Kladské rašeliny NNR is composed of five separate peatbogs in the vicinity of the Kladská hamlet which have an important water accumulation function. The Kladská peatbogs were first declared as a protected area in 1933. As the peatbogs have developed the characteristic plant and animal communities have formed on them with many rare and endangered species. The “Kladská” themed nature trail leads through the margins of the Tajga peatbog.

In January 2005 the Nature Protection Administration (former Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic), Slavkovský les PLA Administration and the Forests of the Czech Republic, state company, agreed that a part of the Tajga peatbog would be declared a non-intervention zone. In other words, a selected forest area is left to natural development processes, without human intervention.

The individual sections of Kladské rašeliny NNR:

Husí les – Parish Mariánské Lázně, Area 14.93 ha, Elevation above sea leve 800–810 m
Lysina – Parish Lázně Kynžvart, Area 42.90 ha, Elevation above sea leve 922–955 m
Malé rašeliniště – Parish Prameny, Area 7.11 ha, Elevation above sea leve 823–827 m
Paterák – Parish Lázně Kynžvart, Prameny, Vranov u Rovné, Area 93.30 ha, Elevation above sea leve 816–836 m
Tajga – Parish Mariánské Lázně, Prameny, Area 133.39 ha, Elevation above sea leve 797–836 m

The basement of the Tajga, Husí les and Malé rašeliniště peatbogs is formed of medium-grained to coarse-grained muscovite Erzegebirge granite of the Kladská type. The basement of Lysina is of coarse-grained li-topaz Erzegebirge granite of the Jelení type. The basement under the Paterák peatbog is of the crystalline complex. Minerals which are commonly found here are graphite schists and cherts, hornfelses, amphibolites and quartzites.

The peatbogs, which began their formation more than 10,000 years ago, are of the raised bog type with a peat layer of up to 6 metres in thickness.

The majority of the raised bog area is covered with bog pines of a primeval character with the dominant Swiss mountain pine (Pinus rotundata) and waterlogged spruce stands with predominant Norway spruce (Picea abies). In the Lysina section Pinus rotundata is replaced by Pinus × pseudopumilio. Other tree species growing on the bogs include larger numbers of downy birch (Betula pubescens) and alder (Alnus glutinosa). A rarity is the occurrence of Carpathian birch (Betula carpatica). The peatbogs have a rich moss layer, especially of sphagnum mosses, including rich populations of Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum rubellum and Sphagnum russowii.

The dominant herb species in the bog pine growths are hare’s-tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum), along with small shrubs of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), heather (Calluna vulgaris), cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) and the cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris). Other common plant species on the peatbogs include bog whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) and bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia). The small carnivorous plants – round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) and common butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) have adapted their lifestyles to live on the poor peaty soils.

The white to pinkish flowers of the chickweed wintergreen (Trientalis europaea) appear in the peaty spruce stands at the beginning of May.

The extensive and inaccessible areas of the Kladské rašeliny peatbogs are the home of many animal species.

Among the insects there are large populations of a number of beetles (Coleoptera): the ground beetles Carabus auronitens and Carabus silvestris, violet ground beetle (Carabus violaceus), the ground beetle Pterostichus vulgaris, the carrion beetle Nicrophorus humator, great diving beetle (Dytiscus marginalis), the click beetle Athous vittatus and the longhorn beetle Leptura rubra. Common butterfly (Lepidoptera) which fly over the peatbogs include pine hawk-moth (Sphinx pinastri), moorland clouded yellow (Colias paleano), cranberry fritillary (Boloria aquilonaris) and silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus).

The damp environment attracts certain amphibians and reptiles including common toad (Bufo bufo), common frog (Rana temporaria), Alpine newt (Triturus alpestris), viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara), grass snake (Natrix natrix) and adder (Vipera berus).

A small population of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) can still be found in the Kladská area, and they are occasionally seen on the peatbogs. Birds which regularly nest here include black stork (Ciconia nigra), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and greater spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus major). In the Kladská area we may also observe birds such as the nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), redpoll (Carduelis flammea), siskin (Carduelis spinus), dunnock (Prunella modularis), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), cuckoo (Coculus canorus), common treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) and yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus) and green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus).

Large mammals which have strong populations on and around the peatbogs are the red deer (Cervus elaphus), sika deer (Cervus nippon) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Since 1996 our largest feline predator – the lynx (Lynx lynx) has made its home in remote, isolated areas of Slavkovský les, and is occasionally seen around the peatbogs. Smaller mammals which are represented here include red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) and common shrew (Sorex araneus).