Fauna

Today, Šumava as a typical highland forest territory is primarily the home of the original central European forest fauna.

The only animals missing are larger beasts such as bear and wolf, eradicated by humans in the 19th century. Originally, during the medieval period, large ungulates such as bison and elk were also eradicated, however the elk has returned and it is currently part of the fauna in the southern part of Šumava. One of the attractive species is the well known, and since the 1980s, the successfully reintroduced Northern Lynx. Large species of ungulates, especially deer, are artificially managed in the absence of their natural predators. The main content of animal welfare in the National Park is to protect the original and endangered species, their habitats and the optimization of the abundance of species.

Typical inhabitants of the Šumava forests with higher altitude are particularly the so called bore alpine birds, (i.e., species living in the northern taiga and central European mountains). The most famous of these are the capercaillie, living in the upland forests, the grouse, living in the moors and the open wetlands and the more widespread hazel grouse.

Chapters

The fauna of Šumava is primarily influenced by the size of the territory. This is why the forest is basically a mosaic of habitats. Despite predominant spruce or mixed forests and peat bogs, also represented are wet and dry meadows and specific habitats, such as glacial lake walls or rock seas. The diversity of the water habitats is also high, from springs up to the River Vltava, from the peat pools up to the Lipno reservoir.
The second factor with a positive impact on the fauna in Šumava is the blending of the species belonging to different geographical areas. Obviously, the dominating species are those of central Europe although the Nordic glacial relicts, species belonging to the Alpine region, are also significantly represented as well as the marginal species of the Carpathians.
The fauna in the spruce forest represents an important part of Šumava. The typical species for these habitats are the Capercaillie, Three-toed Woodpecker, Boreal Owl and Ring Ouzel. The lighter edges of the forest are home to many species of butterflies while one of the most typical is the Large Ringlet. The bore alpine snail (Discus ruderatus) lives under tree bark and fallen trunks.
The mixed forests of beech, fir, spruce and often elm and sycamore have much richer fauna. Such forests are home to Lynx and Bats (Myotis bechsteini); the beech trees are home to the Ural Owl and the White-backed Woodpecker. The beetle fauna is also relatively well researched. This typical and striking species are represented by the Ground Beetle (Carabus irregularis), the Danosoma fasciata and the Sinodendron cylindricum Linaeus. A very important species in the mixed forests are molluscs. There is a wide range of rare species living in the forest such as Alpine Petasina edentula, Carpathian Vestia turgida and Bore AlpineVertigo ronnebyensis.
Very typical habitats are the mountain and valley peat bogs. These habitats do not host any typical vertebrate species although there are some with looser links to those habitats such as Pallas Sicista betulina, Black Grouse and Gallinago. The fauna of invertebrates, among which there are a large number of tyrfobionts and tyrphophilous, is more significant. In the peat lakes, we can find rare species such as Notonecta reuteri, N. lutea, dragonfly larvae (Aeshna subartica, Somatochlora arctica ) and water-beetles (Ilybius crassus and Agabus wasastjernae). The ground invertebrates are represented by the typical ground-beetle or the Colorado beetle (Chrysomela lapponica), the weevil (Coeliotes nigritarsis) and by a large number of spiders such as the Wolf spider (Pardosa sphagnicola) or (Clubiona norvegica and others). The many butterfly species are also bound to the peat bogs. The group of day butterflies is represented by Colias palaeno (also known as Moorland Clouded Yellow), fritillary (Proclossiana eunomia) and Vacciniina optilete (Knoch) with the common name of Cranberry Blue; the night butterflies include Xestia rhaetica and Carsia sororiata.
Another important habitat of Šumava is the secondary forest-free areas. These ecosystems mainly arose after demolition of the former settlements and are currently at various stages of succession. These comprise very important rookeries for birds including Corncrake, Black Grouse, Red Bullfinch and Bluethroat. Typical invertebrates are, for example, the brown filly, Erebia medusa, Meloe proscarabaeus Linnaeus, Cicindela campestris and the ground beetle (Amara nigricornis).
Highly specific habitats are the boulder rubble and rocky seas. Although most of the species living in these habitats came from the surrounding countryside, there are also very specific inhabitants, especially among the invertebrates. Very characteristic inhabitants are the spiders (for example Bathyphantes simillimus or Porrhomma egeria), galley worm Leptoiulus montivagus or the ground beetle Pterostichus negligens. In terms of vertebrates, the regular ones are the large dormouse and the garden dormouse.
Very typical and unusual habitats are also glacial lakes and cirques. The lakes are relatively species-poor, however even theses contain very typical species such as daphnids (Ceriodaphnia quadrangular), ephemera (Leptophlebia propinqua ) and corixid (Glaenocorisa propinqua). The glacial lake cirques are home to the endemic ground beetle of Šumava (Oreonebria castanea sumavica ) and nesting peregrine.
The Šumava still waters include both peaty lakes as mentioned earlier, and various small pools and ponds up to Nýrsko and Lipno reservoirs. The smaller pools are a habitat to small amphibians such as alpine and smooth newts, toads, grass-frogs as well as tree frogs and the fire-bellied and yellow-bellied toads. The large ponds and reservoirs are home to many birds which stop there during migration or occasional stop by. These are mainly represented by White Heron, Herring Gull, Common Eider, White-Tailed Eagle, Common Goldeneye, Cormorant and many types of wading birds. New research of Lipno reservoir detected many types of rare shellfish, such as Shining Ramshorn Snail (Segmentina nitida) and river mussel (Unio tumidus and Unio pictorum).

The running waters fauna is similarly rich and full of varieties of species. The mammalians are represented by otters and mountain shrew, the white-throated dipper bird, the kingfisher and the grey wagtail. The Šumava streams are dominated by brook trout, bullhead and fathead minnow. Some streams still have relatively abundant brook lamprey. The invertebrate species belong among the typical inhabitants of clean running waters such as pearl mussel and river crayfish. There are large numbers of aquatic insects (mayflies, Plecoptera, caddisflies), many of which are bore alpine or Alpine-Šumava species. Equally rich is the fauna of the shores, home to Carabidae (Bembidion ascendens, Epaphius rivuralis) and scavengers (Pteroloma forsstroemii).

Very specific inhabitants of Šumava can be found within the groups of invertebrates. There are too many to select any outstanding inhabitants, but among the diptera and hymenoptera, beetles, bugs, aphids and raises are many extremely rare species confirming the uniqueness of Šumava. Several species found in Šumava have recently been described as new scientific discoveries.

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