Zástudánčí National Nature Reserve

Zástudánčí NNR was declared in 1952 and lie on the confluence of the Morava and Bečva rivers around 4 km SE of Tovačov and on the borders of the Olomoucký kraj – Olomouc Region and the Zlínský kraj – Zlín Region, covering an area of 100.64 ha. The subject of the protection is the preserved alluvial forest with characteristic flora and fauna along the unregulated river channel of the  Morava river, which is a significant locality for nesting and migrating birds.

The reserve lies in the depression of the Hornomoravský úval Graben, the back bone of which is the wide alluvial plain on the Morava river. The reserve lies at elevations of 195 – 198 metres above sea level. The geological basement is built of Neogene and Quaternary sediments, covered by alluvial soils.

The region has a warm and mildly damp climate with characteristically mild winters.

The alluvial forest stands with poplar and ash along the banks of the naturally-flowing Morava river are regularly flooded. On slightly higher ground we can find the largest area of elm alluvial stands with pendunculate oak (Quercus robur) and hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). Willow communities have developed on the floodbanks. The locality is of great dendrological significance for the occurrence of remnant populations of black poplar (Populus nigra), European white elm (Ulmus laevis), small-leaved elm (Ulmus minor) and narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), which is on its northern range-edge here. Rare herb species which grow here include broad-leaved ragwort (Senecio fluviatilis), berry catchfly (Cucubalus baccifer), brown galingale (Cyperus fuscus) and the Carpathian arum - Arum cylindraceum.

Due to its geomorphological position and climatic conditions Zástudánčí NNR is among the warmest localities in the Czech Republic. The preserved nature of the biotopes is reflected in the insect flora composition with many thermophilous species represented here. Some of the most significant species occur close to the river as they are bound to the stands of European aspen, poplars and willows. These Lepidoptera species include Siever’s prominent (Odontosia sieversi), three-humped prominent (Tritophia tritophus), poplar tip moth (Clostera anastomosis) and scarce chocolate tip (Clostera anachoreta). Interesting, rare and endangered species which live further from the river include the lesser swallow prominent (Pheosia gnoma), lunar marbled brown (Drymonia ruficornis), purple hairstreak (Neozephyrus quercus) and others. Throughout the alluvial forest we can meet the butterflies lesser purple emperor (Apatura ilia), Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antilopa) and light orange underwing Archiearis puella, which is usually only found along the southern border of the Czech Republic.

The most abundant fish species which live in the Morava river in the reserve include roach (Rutilus rutilus), chub (Leuciscus cephalus), common bream (Abramis brama) and barbel (Barbus barbus).

Zástudánčí is an ornithological territory of supraregional importance. A total of 174 bird species have been recorded, of which around 80 nest here and around 90 regularly or irregularly visit the reserve on their migrations. Protected species which nest here include the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius), penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus) and others. Regular visitors on their migrations include black stork (Ciconia nigra), hobby (Falco subbuteo), common gull (Larus canus) and the hoopoe (Upupa epops).

Mammals which live in the reserve are representatives of the insectivores – pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus), the predators – weasel (Mustela nivalis) and pine marten (Martes martes) and the rodents – red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus). The rich environment also provides suitable conditions for deer to live here.
 
Zástudánčí NNR is included among wetlands of supraregional importance and is also a part of the Chropyňský luh Supraregional Biocentre. A cycle trail runs along the edge of the southern part of the NNR. Zástudánčí NNR is included in the proposed Chropyňský luh Site of Community Importance under the Natura 2000 system.