Przyroda

Nature is undoubtedly a wealth of Krynica and the surrounding area, which contributed to the development of health and tourist values of these areas. Beskid Sądecki is famous from it’s magnificent forests, in which beech predominate in the band of Jaworzyna Krynicka and fir and spruce in the band of Zimne, and Dubne. In 1987, to preserve the unique values of the natural landscape Poprad Landscape Park was created in Beskid Sądecki. In the vicinity there are 16 nature reserves. Forests are inhabited by rare species of animals and birds, and in woods and clearings you may spot nearly 1,000 species of plants.
On the top area of Jaworzyna there are visible thresholds of sandstone rocks around which stunted beeches remained. Noteworthy is a rock called "Devil Stone" - several meters mushroom rock with well-marked layers of sandstone.
The main natural resources of these lands are mineral water: 23 shots, including 5 natural springs and 18 wells. In the area of Krynica, there are no major water reservoirs, there are however the lakes of landslide origin. Some landslides niches on Parkowa Mountain were turned into the picturesque small joints such as Heron and Swan Ponds.

Plant zones

Geographical Krynica favours the occurrence of these areas of mountain stories. The rich vegetation ranges Jaworzyna Krynicka into three zones: the highlands (up to 550m above sea level), Regiel lower (up to 1000m above sea level) and the one which applies only to upper top of Jaworzyna- Regiel higher( above 1000 m).

Mountain area, is covered not only with the arable land, but also with fragments of spruce forests ( up to 20%) with admixtures of hornbeam, oak, linden, maple, larch, birch and poplar. Within the agricultural land arable land accounts for 65% of the surface, and the pasture around 26%.
Most of the municipal area of Krynica - Zdrój is situated in the lower mountain zone with a high share of a forested area. Fir and beech forests dominate here with admixtures of mountain elm, sycamore and ash. Some of these parts has been preserved intact by a man – creating natural for this altitude so –called the Carpathian beech forest.

Flora

Krynica Woods are the land of the 'Leśny Zakład Doświadczalny' – which is a post of Agricultural University in Krakow. This institution manages forests with an area of 6,500 ha, the whole belonging to the category of protective forests. Nearly half the forest area are the stands resulting from afforestation of the former agricultural land, nationalized after the deportation of the Lemko population during the 'Wisła' operation.
The property of 'Leśny Zakład Doświadczalny' lies within the buffer zone or Poprad Landscape Park. These factors, as well as rich and dynamic landforms and weather changes make the management of these woods a very difficult and costly one. It also requires extensive knowledge and commitment of foresters staff.
Productive functions of the forest last here in the background, giving place to the functions of protection of soil, water, landscape as well as tourist and educational purposes. The primary task of foresters in the area is to grow a healthy forest, stable and diverse in age, composition and structure. A forest which can meet all the previously mentioned features.

Woods occupy about 60% of the area, due to habitat fertility they widely vary in species composition. The most popular is Silver fir - about 35%, second place holds beech - about 23%, Norway spruce is third, fourth - Scots pine - both at 15%, the fifth - European larch - about 5% and the other 2 % deals appropriately between grey alder, ash, birch and maple. A characteristic feature here is the lack of species occurring in the lowland areas - oak and hornbeam vulgaris, which is a proof of the severity of the climate.
On fertile sites of the lower mountain zone floor shrubs and undergrowth develop very luxuriantly. Among the shrubs most popular is hazel, sambucus racemosa, honeysuckle, rubus plicatus and Daphne mezereum. The common ground are covered with blackberry, raspberry correct, different species of ferns- athyrium femina, polystichum aculeatum, blechnum spicant, Polypodium vulgaris dryopteris filix.There are also galeobdolon luteum, dentaria bulbifera Among rare protected plants are: ostrich fern, lycopodium clavatum and annotinum, clematis alpina, lathraea squamaria, platanthera bifolia, dactylorhiza maculata, listera ovata, alium ursinum solanum dulcamara, aruncus dioicus.
In the area of Krynica a clear effect of forests on water retention may be observed. After lengthy and heavy rainfall it may be clearly observed that those streams which flows across the open deforested areas are rapidly increase with the amount of water and thy are likely to flood the area, while the streams which flows through the woods do not cause such danger. There is much less water because major part of it was absorbed by the woods.
Role of forests in water retention can be likened to a sponge that stores well absorbed water and slowly release it.
 

Fauna

Diversity of the world of Flora results in a diversity of the fauna as well. In Krynica area Quite common are mammals: the European red deer, roe deer, wild boar, fox, squirrel, marten forest, and many more. Of rare mammals a brown bear wandering here from Slovakia can be found, as well as wolf and lynx settled, very rare wildcat, and more recently- after a successful reintroduction carried out by gamekeepers- beaver.
Almost all types of native birds live here. Also very rare species of bird build their nest here (and it is absolutely forbidden to approach such a nest within 500m distance). These are:
the golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, black stork and owl. Near the streams kingfisher, dipper can be found. In the forest live rather ordinary tetrastes bonasia, and cinclus cinclus. Amphibians are represented here by yellow-bellied toad, salamander, newts, and frogs. All species of Polish reptiles live here except pond turtle, you can meet here even the Aesculap snake and Smooth snake. Adder is fairly common here (sometimes without the characteristic zigzag - in a variety completely black on the back).
Very interesting is the world of insects, represented here by native species, as well as foreign, which comes here through Tylicz Pass from warmer sites on the south side of the Carpathians. An example would be a very rare Rosalia alpina. There are a lot of aphid species from which the bees produce honey dew, one of the specialties of Krynica.

The conservation of the Nature

In the area of Krynica many objects, surfaces and organisms are subject to special protection. These include:

  • The compact complex of Fir trees producing a high quality seeds. They are situated at an altitude of 575-650 m a.s.l. The average age of trees is over 130 year old. Among them a 30 trees are designated to be of the best quality. According to research conducted by the Department of Seed, Nursery and Selection of Forest Trees UR ,this fir population is genetically the most valuable from among 99 surveyed places in Poland. It is distinguished by resistance to late frosts. seeds from here are used in nursery trees to produce plant which will cover deforested areas.
  • Protection zone of golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, black stork nesting. Within the ‘Leśny Zakład Doświadczalny” area the protective zone was set in order to give the best conditions to that rare species of bird during their nesting. 8 zones was created: the golden eagle – one zone, the Lesser Spotted Eagle - five zones, black stork - two zones.
  • Sources of mineral waters - the area is rich in medicinal, mineral and normal waters, as well as so –called mofety, exhalation of carbon dioxide from the known forms of surface water. Sources, effusions, and mineral water leaks and signs of exhalation of carbon dioxide are grouped in valleys of Szczawiczne, Muszynka, Bradowiec and Syhowny streams. These are mainly highly carbonated waters with high calcium and iron content.
  • ' The Devil Stone "- a monument of inanimate nature (0.05 ha). Monadnock rock of sedimentary origin. Narrow from the bottom, the higher the more it expands forming the shape of 'Hercules' mace'. It is situated on the red and green route on a perch of rock covered with rubble. A charming legend is linked with this site. Nearby a valuable position of chervil shining, sedum Carpathian and snowdrops may be observed.
  • Surface Natural Monument "Las pod Jaworzyną”. Protects a fragment of the natural beech-fir trees with an area of 63ha, reminiscent of primeval Carpathian forest. It grows on landslide area with cascading expositions of rock formations and accumulated rubble. Here the whole fields of miesięcznica trwała may be observed in its natural habitat. In the undergrowth species there are also interesting species of plants like brittle rock. This forest is located on the green trail (Czarny Potok- Jaworzyna).
  • Position of garlic mesh may be observed on the top clearing of Jaworzyna Krynicka. The plant covers the surface of 1m2 and it’s quite rare in this region.
  • The position of “Cirsium heterophyllum”, quite rare in the region, was marked in the 30s by prof. Pawlowski on the slopes of Jaworzyna Krynicka in the vicinity of the 'Devil Stone'.
  • ‘Nursery Tree’ The residue after the school which was founded here in 1930, on a surface of 22 acres. The exotic species of giant thuja and yew in a tree form are planted here. This nursery tree was used for the production of foreign trees planted later in the Spa Park ( Parkowa mountain), where you can admire already grown specimens .