There are different types of protected areas in the Czech Republic. The most protected are the national parks whose flora and fauna have a unique scientific and educational importance both on the international and national levels.
There are four national parks in the Czech Republic:
|National parks (NP)||NP from||Area||Max. altitude|
|Krkonoše NP||1963||363 km2||1,602 m|
|Podyjí NP||1991||63 km2||536 m|
|Šumava NP||1991||685 km2||1,378 m|
|České Švýcarsko NP||2000||79 km2||619 m|
This park extends along the area of the highest mountains of the Czech Republic and also includes some of their foothills. Characteristics of the natural environment: deciduous and mixed forests at the foot of the mountains, autochtonous and secondary mountain spruce forests, dwarf-pine growths and herb-rich alpine meadows, glacial cirques and lichen tundra on the highest ridges.
This national park is located along the Dyje River between the towns of Znojmo and Vranov nad Dyjí, close to the border with Austria. It is a biome whose well-preserved state is unique in Central Europe. Characteristics of the natural environment: a unique river valley with a mosaic of rock slopes and steep walls, meanders, vast scree fields and gorges, alluvial plain meadows and sunny forest-steppes with thermophilous flora.
This national park extends along the most valuable area of the Šumava Mountains. A protected landscape area with the same name is located in the outskirts of the Šumava National Park. Characteristics of the natural environment: almost 85% of the area is forested in the central part. At higher altitude locations, there are remnants of primeval forests, abundant wetlands and raised bogs and glacial lakes. Many protected species of fauna and flora are relicts of the Ice Age.
České Švycarsko (“Bohemian Switzerland”) is a picturesque region in the north-west of the Czech Republic. It lies on the Czech side of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains north of Děčín on both sides of the Elbe (Labe) River. It extends eastward into the Lusatian Mountains (Lužické Hory) and westward into the Ore Mountains (Krušné Hory). Characteristics of the natural environment: it boasts a unique geomorphology of sandstone rocks, rich biodiversity, herb-rich beech forests with an abundant number of plant species contrasting with the extensive pine and spruce forests growing on the sandstone. Fauna includes the lynx, eagle owl, and peregrine falcon.