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  • Email: titkarsag@bnpi.hu


Survey, research and monitoring of natural areas 

The framework of the National Biodiversity Monitoring System was set up in the Hungarian national parks in 1997 in order to gain information on the changes and state of natural areas. The biodiversity monitoring is targeted at selected species and habitats and is a long-term project.

The so-called nature conservation monitoring can cover the following features:

  • Protected, endangered natural assets;
  • Observation of elements indicating the general state of the biota or plant and animal communities;
  • Surveying of the direct or indirect impacts of any human activity or environmental factor.

The monitoring scheme covers several issues and habitat types, such as protected and endangered species (primarily birds), wetlands and their biota, forest reserves and managed forests, dry grasslands and mountain meadows or the natural habitats.

It enables us to learn about the assets of protected areas, and the natural processes and changes affecting them. This system is relatively recent and has been in operation for only a few years within the BNP Directorate.

In addition to vegetation mapping, base-line information on particular vegetation types in terms of natural and ecological state is to be recorded. Thus, these data are both used in the elaboration of management plans and enable us to make comparisons on the results of actual management activities on the long run. As a result of the botanical survey of the Bükk National Park, 13 different sample sites were designated, in which the plant communities are regularly surveyed providing information on the diversity of species and the “naturalness” of the site. This database is fundamental in the continuously up-graded monitoring system, as the sequence of records outlines long-term tendencies and characters of changes.

Various scientific researches were carried out in the Bükk Mountains as early as the beginning of the 20thcentury. Coordination of these researches became necessary by the establishment of the national park.

The most important researches focused and still focus on gathering base-line data indispensable to nature conservation activities, as well as to the definition of protection categories corresponding to the international standards (e.g. IUCN zonation). Certainly, botanical and zoological researches have the longest history.  The Hungarian Academy of Sciences defined 5-year programmes of strategic planning and research to be carried out in Hungarian national parks, which was first done in the Bükk between 1980 and 1985. These five years of research yielded highly valuable results, and they were published in a 2-volume publication, however, management problems could not be overcome as simple as that. The most detailed research of the national park so far commenced in 1984. Its main objectives were to undertake the full vegetation mapping of the mountain and the dot mapping of over 200 protected plant species of great scientific and local importance. The maps were completed and published, along with a volume introducing the flora of the Bükk Mountain in 2001. Meanwhile, zoological researches were also launched, and deepened our knowledge both on vertebrates (e.g. birds, bats, European ground squirrel, etc.) and invertebrates (e.g. butterflies).

The exploration, protection and research of a biotic natural assets are equally important and relevant tasks for nature conservation. The Bükk Mountain is also among the most complex and diverse areas of Hungary, as far as geology is concerned, and is very rich in landforms and outcrops of diverse nature. The research, maintenance and interpretation of the so-called ‘national lithological key sections’ and other geological outcrops are also very important duties, as well as gaining a more advanced knowledge on the geological structure of the mountains.

The lithological key sections are the scientific ‘documents’ of the formations that developed during the different eras of Earth’s history. The full geological survey of the Bükk was repeated by the experts of the Geological Institute of Hungary (MÁFI) in the 1990’s. As a result, the most recent geological map of the Bükk Mountain was published in 2002 along with the monograph introducing the Bükk National Park.

The protection of landforms (i.e. geomorphological assets) in the Bükk National Park also requires active conservation measures. To avoid and prevent their damage, a full-scale survey was necessary, already advising on immediate management actions for their long-term conservation or even repair.  The cadaster of geomorphological assets of the Hór Valley was accomplished by the experts from the Department of Environmental Management of the Eszterházy Károly College, Eger. This can be a benchmark for future surveys of the whole mountain.

The early history of (karst) hydrology in the Bükk Mountains goes back quite some decades. Research into the ecological impact of the gradual drop of karst water level and the dramatic decrease of discharge or even drying of springs due to the increasing volume of water extraction started in the 1990s.

Water from the springs reaching into the streams is vital and has outstanding nature conservation value therefore the volume of water necessary to sustain natural habitats and their communities (ecological water demand) had to be defined. For that reason, sample sites representing each habitat type were designated in the area of the national park. The complex geological, hydro-geological, biological, chemical and meteorological research facilitated the scientific definition of water demand necessary to achieve and sustain ecologically desirable conditions.

The Bükk Mountain is a site of intense karstification and consequently its number of caves is exceptionally high in Hungary. The number of caves is on a constant increase (at present, it is well over1000) as a result of regular and detailed research activities. Most of the relevant caves have become known by the exploration of sinkholes carried out by various caving clubs.

This outstanding and exciting (however quite unsafe) work is carried out by these clubs with the supervision by the National Park Directorate. A great enterprise of recent years was the establishment of the National Cave Register opening a new chapter in scientific cave research. The National Cave Register required inter alia the re-mapping of the location of and passages of each individual cave.


Utolsó módosítás: 2014. október 28., 11:05