National Park Tara
The National Park Tara covers the greatest part of Tara Mountain situated in the westernmost part of Serbia, in an elbow shaped meander of the river Drina. It was designated as the National Park in 1981, on the area of 19.200 ha. The National Park Tara, together with Zaovine and Nature Park “Šargan-Mokra Gora”, represents the centre of the future biosphere reserve Drina.
Tara Mountain represents a high, considerably flatened area of 1000-1200m hight, with rising, rare peaks of 1.400 to 1.600 m, intersected by deeply indenteded river valleys. Besides canyon valley of the river Drina with powerful limestone cliffs over 1000 m high, the canyons of the Rivers Rača, Brusnica and Derventa are distinguished by their wild beauty, as well as attractive waterfalls Mali and Veliki skakavac on the river Rzav. However, Mountain Tara is famous for its rich, dense, autochthonous coniferous forests, which make Tara the most forest-grown mountain in Serbia and Europe. Out of more than 1000 plant species, 20 are of endemic character, including the queen of all endemics in Europe, Serbian Spruce (Picea omorica). Serbian Spruce is the Tertiary relict species and Balkan endemic species which survived Great Ice Age on the very limited refugial habitats in the middle course of the river Drina. For this reason Tara Mountain is unique for the purpose of biological diversity preservation in global scales. Vegetation consists of 35 forest and nine meadow communities, with the most distributed mixed autochthonous forests of European spruce, fir and beech, whereas relict and endemic-relict communities of spruce, European spruce, fir, European black pine and Scots pine are exceptionally valuable.
Besides exceptional flora bio-diversity, there are also numerous habitats of significant fauna on Tara Mountain. Like Serbian Spruce in flora, Pančić’s Grasshopper belonging to fauna of Tara, is a local endemic species which only inhabits this area. As Drina and the cold streams are inhabited by rare and noble species, such as Danube salmon and grayling, there are about 130 bird species on Tara Mountain, such as black woodpecker, white-backed woodpecker, hazel grouse, Ural owl, boreal owl, European serin, red-breasted flycatcher, jay, spotted nutcracker and others. Within mammal fauna, the presence of bear, wolf, chamois, roe deer, otter, wild cat, European pine marten, white breasted marten and others is of special importance.
There are numerous remains of cultural heritage in the National Park, as well. Renovated Rača Monastery and cemetery headstones from 14th and 15th century in Perućac and Rastište are valuable parts of the medieval Serbian cultural heritage.
The visit of the Faculty of Geography students
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