National Park Kopaonik
The National Park Kopaonik spreads over the highest and most preserved areas of Kopaonik Mountain rising in the central part of Southern Serbia. Its area of 11.809 ha, with 19.985 ha of circumfering buffer zone, was protected in1981.
Although Park begins at the altitude of 800 m, the largest area of the Park encompasses the central and most forest grown part of the Kopaonik massif, a large, relatively flattened area about 1700m high, known as Ravni Kopaonik. The mountainous relief is dominated by the highest of peaks, Pančić’s Peak (2017 m above sea level).
Kopaonik is characterized by a high level of biological and landscape diversity. Over 1600 plant species were found on this massif. Only high mountain flora consists of 825 species, out of which 91 are of endemic and 82 of sub-endemic character. There are three distinguished local endemics of Kopaonik: Kopaonik houseleek (Sempervivum kopaonikensis), Kopaonik violet (Viola kopaonikensis) and waterwheel plant (Cardamine pancicii). Four plants of this massif are on the European Red List, 50 on the Red List of Flora of Serbia and 30 plant species are on the List of Natural Rarities of Serbia. In comparison with the endemic high-mountain flora of the Balkan Peninsula, 11.9% of endemics grow on Kopaonik, which makes this mountain one of the most important centers of endemism in Serbia and on the Balkans.
There are all vegetation belts of high mountains of the central Balkans on Kopaonik, which reflect the richness of this area`s vegetation. Kopaonik is characterized by large areas with particularly valuable and preserved eco-systems. The ecological diversity also induced the richness of animal species. The rich fauna of insects (the only known site with the endemic and relict species of butterfly Colias balcanica Rebel), a great number of amphibians and reptiles, 170 bird species, out of which 90% are nesting birds and 39 mammal species, all add up to the exceptional natural richness of this National Park.
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