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Animals

ZwierzętaThe Narew Valley within the Narew National Park is one of the few river valleys that allow floodplains in Europe. Due to its specific topography it is a typical migratory route of hoofed mammals.
The Park greatest wealth are birds, especially waterfowl species. Vast areas of reed beds, sedges and shrubs are ideal for feeding and nesting. Spring flooded areas will also encourage them to rest and feed during migration.

Fish

The Narew River waters are the residence of typical lowland river species. In the Park natural complex network of channels, periodic floodplains, oxbow lakes and waterholes provide favourable conditions for the life of both predatory and herbivorous fishes.
Among predators the Narew is inhabited by pikes, catfishes, perches, asps, and burbots. Moreover, in the waters of the Narew is possible to find other fish species such as the roach, the tench and the bream. Protected species live as well in Narew Valley protected area, which are the: bitterling, goat, stone loach and Ukrainian lamprey eel.

Amphibians and Reptiles

The wetlands that occur within the Narew National Park encourage the presence of amphibians, 13 species of salamanders and frogs can be found here.
The most numerous are the brown frogs, which is more than 60% of all the observed amphibians, is clearly dominated by the grass frog.
In the Park also inhabit green frogs, such as: the marsh, the pool and the edible ones as well as tree and moor frogs, toads like: the common, the green, the natterjack, the fire-bellied toad and the spadefoot. Among others, the smooth and great crested newt, are significant of the salamanders.
Only three species of reptiles can be found in the Park area, the grass snake, the common and the sand lizard.

Birds

The Narew Valley is characterized by its annual spring flood, by its extensive network of river channels and by the inaccessibility of its fields. These factors affect the invasion of the land by man and together with its reed beds, sedges and shrubs are a safe place for birds to nest and feed.
In the area of ​​NPN, 203 species of birds were until now documented, 155 of them breeding species or probably breeding species while the others can be observed in the area during spring migration.
19 species of wetland birds, considered endangered by the European Union (listed in Annex I Birds Directive) nest in the Park area, such as: bitterns, marsh harriers, terns, spotted crakes, little crake, ruffs and great snipes.
Other 12 endangered species in the country, listed in the Polish Red Data Book of Animals, inhabit the Park, like the aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) a species which allow the Park area to be considered as one of the European Important Bird Areas, according to the BirdLife International criteria.
The Narew Valley is a perfect place for birds to rest and feed during spring migration, at this time it’s here possible to observe flocks of several thousand of geese, ducks and swans.
The symbol of the Narew National Park is the marsh harrier, the most numerous of the three harrier species that can be found in the Valley.
It is characterized by its sexual dimorphism: the female has brown plumage with a pale head while the male has a brown and gray tail and gray-black wings. It nests in dense reeds.
A pair of adult birds constantly fly throughout their territory. It is amazing to see them hunting with their typical wings held in a shallow V-shape.

Mammals

The Narew Valley within the Narew National Park is one of the few river valleys that allows floodplains in Europe.
In the Park inhabit 34 species of mammals belonging to the following groups: hoofed mammals, carnivores, rodents, insectivores, lagomorphs and bats. Among them ,many are under protection: strictly protected species: moles, common shrews, pigmy shrews, water shrews, bicolor shrews, squirrels, stoats and weasels and partially protected species: beavers and otters.
From one side, the stretched and narrow area along the Narew River is a small space and cannot entirely be a proper habitat for large mammals.
However, due to its specific topography this wetland characteristic habitat is a typical migratory circuit route for some ungulates such as: elks, wild boars and deers (which occasionally occur here).

Invertebrates

BezkręgowceThe richest, but not yet well known is the world of invertebrates, from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. From the last one, the best known classes are the spiders and the insects – dragonflies, butterflies, bees and wasps.

N The Narew National Park is the habitat of 150 species of spiders, of which 21 are rare, known only to inhabit in few sites in Poland.

In this wetland environment inhabit species that can move around the surface of the water and swim, for example: the water spider and the great raft spider and others associated with the land ecosystems such as furrow spiders or wasp spiders.

Throughout this protected channels labyrinth, 47 species of dragonflies find their ideal habitats. Until now five species under protection were documented:

  • the green snaketail, Ophiogomphus Cecilia (Fourcroy, 1785) – protected by the Natura 2000 and by the Polish law,
  • the yellow spotted whiteface, Leucorrhinia pectoralis (Charpentier, 1825) – protected by the Bern Convetion Natura 2000 and by the Polish law,
  • the northen emerald, Somatochlora arctica (Zetterstedt, 1840) – protected by the Polish law and present in the Polsih Red Data Book Animals – Invertebrates,
  • the river clubtail, Gomphus flavipes (Charpentier, 1825) – protected by the Polish law and
  • the green hawk live er, Aeshna viridis (Eversmann, 1836) – protected by the Polish law. Until now 84 lepidopterans species were documented in the Park, being the false ringlet - Coeononympha oedippus (Farbricius, 1787) and the large cooper – Lycaena dispar (Haworth, 1802) present in the Polsih Red Data Book Animals – Invertebrates and protected by the Polish law.

More than 120 species of bees and wasps inhabit the Park area, 18 species of cuckoo bumblebees -Psithyrus spp. and bumblebees – Bombus spp. are under protection by the Polish law.

The largest group of animals are insects - a group of terrestrial animals also re-adapted to the aquatic environment. These are the first animals which possessed the ability to active flight.

In the Narew National Park inhabit representatives of the following orders:

  • Beetles (Coleoptera) - the first pair of wings is hard and rigid, when resting they tightly covers the body, a second pair of transparent and membranous at rest is hidden under the covers.
  • Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera) - are divided into two suborders: symphyta – which have heavily veined wings and apocrita (such as bees, wasps, ants) with their veins not so dense. The symphyta larvae look like caterpillars while the apocrita larvae are legless, maggot - worms.
  • Flies (Diptera) - characterized by one pair of membranous wings and other the so-called halteres which during flight serve as organs of equilibrium.
  • Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) – the larva lives in fresh water and is similar to the adult. It is a predator, or feed on plant foods, scraping them from the surface of stones or wood. Larval life can last up to several years while the adult forms live very shortly, sometimes one day.
  • True bugs (Hemiptera) – normally divided in two suborders: the Heteroptera bugs – the front wings are hard and the hindwings are membranous (predators or parasites). The Homoptera bugs – have two pairs of membranous wings (feed on plant juice).
  • Orthopterans (Orthoptera) - the front wings - forewings are hard narrow than the rear ones (forming an outer coat). The rear – hindwings are membranous and when at rest are hidden under the forewings. The forewings may be reduced. There are also wingless forms.
  • Caddisflies (Trichoptera) - the wings are folded along the body - covered with hairs and sometimes scaled. The larvae build portable houses made with different parts of aquatic plants, grains of sand, pebbles or shells, bonded with silk yarns. Adults in general do not feed.
  • Dragonflies (Odonata) - insects closely related to aquatic environments. Both larvae and adults are predators. They are as well divided in two suborders: Zygoptera - damselflies, have slender and delicate build similar wings size. The larvae at the end of the abdomen have three fin-like gills that enable them to breathe under the water and Anisoptera - dragonflies, are insects with a massive body, large head and wider rear wings. Their larvae have rectal gills.
  • Stoneflies (Plecoptera) – their two pairs of wings are transparent elongated veined wings. The larval stages live in fast flowing well oxygenated freshwaters and are associated with bottom habitats.
  • Butterflies (Lepidoptera) - are divided into two groups - butterflies and moths. The wings are covered with tiny scales, most scales are lamellar, or blade-like and attached with a pedicel. Larvae food of most of the species are soft parts of plants, although there are some that live in the wood and feed on honeycombs.
  • Alderflies, fishflies and dobsonflies (Megaloptera) – have two pairs of wings with many veins. Water lifestyle larvae, occur on muddy bottoms, predate and feed on other aquatic insects larvae.
  • Net-winged insects (Neuroptera) - adults have two pairs of membranous, translucent veined wings. Larvae and adults are predatory.
  • Scorpionflies (Mecoptera) – have membranous wings, densely streaked with pterostigma cells. Their caterpillar type of larvae live in moist soil

 

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