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Number of IPAs: 116
IPA Area: 2,070,000 hectares
IPA Biogeographic zones: Continental (10) Alpine (9)
Poland covers over 312,000km2 in Central Europe
Poland covers an area of over 312,000 km2 in Central Europe. There is a total of 116 IPAs in the country, covering 2,070,000 hectares, which are distributed as follows in the different biogeographic zones: Continental (10), Alpine (9). The Continental, covers most of the country and there is a small area of the Alpine zone in the Carpathian Mountains of the south.
Poland’s natural and semi-natural habitats consist mainly of several types of forest, mown or grazed grasslands, including small areas of warm, dry, steppe-like grassland, as well as vast areas of swamps and peat bogs. The country also harbours two Centres of Plant Diversity, the Carpathians and the Bialowieza Forest.
Forest is the most widespread habitat, occurring at 84% of IPA’s, followed by grasslands. Cultivated and constructed habitats occur at a low level within many IPAs. Wetland habitats occur within almost two thirds of IPAs. Temperate heath and alpine scrub, screes and rock habitats, coastal dunes and marine habitats also occur.
Agriculture occurs within 67% of IPAs. Forestry, and tourism and recreation are also major land uses. Transport, industrial and urban activities occur within just over 50% of IPAs and the other main land uses are hunting, fisheries and aquaculture, mineral extraction, and water management.
Tourist and recreation development is the single most widespread threat to IPAs in Poland (68 IPAs). Inappropriate forestry practices, infrastructure and transport, urban and industrial development are all significant threats. Inappropriate water management systems, including drainage, extraction, and canalisation, affect just under half the IPAs. Burning of vegetation and aquaculture and fisheries also threaten IPAs in Poland.
Find Poland on pages 47 to 49
Pieniny Mountains, Poland
The Tatras in the Carparthian mountains, on the border between Slovakia and Poland
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