Porážky National Nature Reserve

The national nature reserve covers an area of 49.8 ha with a buffer zone of 370.8 ha at elevations between 540 and 610 metres above sea level in the parishes of Nová Lhota and Slavkov.

A complex of herb-rich White Carpathian meadows with solitary trees which is located 1.5 km north of the hamlet of Vápenky on the border of the Jihomoravský kraj – South Moravian Region and the Zlínský kraj – Zlín Region. Porážky NNR is the only locality in the Czech Republic where the Lousewort Pedicularis exaltata grows and has rich flora and fauna populations.
 
The geological basement is of the Magura Flysh (Bílé Karpaty Unit) formed of layers of calcareous claystones, marlstones and calcareous sandstones. Typical medium-grained Cambisol has formed on the slopes from these deposits and pseudogley Cambisol is also found on part of the territory.
 
Most of the NNR territory is covered with grassland growths with isolated trees, although extensive shrub growths can be found in the south of the reserve and around the spring in the northern part. The predominant vegetation type are thermophilous grasslands with predominant species the erect brome grass (Bromus erectus) and the fescue Festuca rupicola, which grows here at a higher than usual elevation (600 m). On the landslide slope in the northern section dry, open sites are interspersed with hygrophilous growths. Wetlands are found in the reserve as well as a rich flora of the herbaceous fringes.

Around 300 vascular plant species have been identified in the reserve, of which the most significant is the lousewort Pedicularis exaltata. Orchid species which grow all over the territory include fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea subsp. conopsea), the globe orchid Traunsteinera globosa, lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia), military orchid (Orchis militaris) and early purple orchid (Orchis mascula). Species which grow in some areas of the reserve are elder-flowered orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina), bumble-bee orchid (Ophrys holosericea) and lady’s slipper (Cypripedium calceolus). Other flowers growing on the meadows include the iris Iris graminea) and Hungarian iris (Iris variegata), the gladiolus Gladiolus imbricatus, marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe), fringed gentian (Gentianopsis ciliata) and the sawwort Serratula lycopifolia. Other orchids which grow on damp areas are broad-leaved marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), marsh helleborine (Epipactis palustris) and the fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea subsp. densiflora). In 1997 the stagshorn club-moss (Lycopodium clavatum) was identified here, but is missing in recent years. The loosestrife Pseudolysimachion maritimum is common on Přední louky meadows in the NNR’s buffer zone.
 
Significant bird species on the territory of the reserve include the whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), quail (Coturnix coturnix), corn bunting (Miliaria colandra), corncrake (Crex crex), great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor), hobby (Falco subbuteo) and barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria).

Near the forest growths which surround the meadows we may see slowworms (Anguis fragilis), common frog (Rana temporaria) and the yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata).

A great variety of invertebrate species are bound to the meadows and the forest fringes. Endangered butterfly species occurring here include scarce large blue(Maculinea telejus), purple-shot copper (Lycaena alciphron), twin-spot fritillary (Brenthis hecate), lesser marbled fritillary (Brenthis ino), Danube clouded yellow (Colias myrmidone) and poplar admiral (Limenitis populi). The slender-striped rufous (Coenocalpe lapidata), a typical species on the herb-rich Bílé Karpaty meadows also lives here.
 
The locality was previously cut for hay once a year and was occasionally fertilized with mineral fertilizers during the socialist times of collectivised agriculture. In 1978 unsuitable recultivation works were carried out in the north of the locality, which resulted in landslides over a wide area which disturbed the vegetation cover. In places the bedrock was exposed and almost the entire population of the lousewort Pedicularis exaltata was destroyed.

After this event, the landslide areas were cut by hand by volunteers and the population of this semi-parasitic lousewort increased. The population was increased by sowing seeds and planting seedlings, and currently more than 200 examples flower here each year. The reservation is kept in good condition by regular cutting and removal of hay.