Šumava is the Czech name for the Bohemian Forest. National Park Šumava is a UNESCO 'Biosphere Reserve' and is with 69030 hectares the largest national park in the Czech Republic. It is part, together with the German Böhmerwald, of the largest Middle European forested area and is also called the 'Green Longs of Europe'.
In the direct vicinity of the National Park are several large environmentally protected areas. These CHKO's do not have the same protected status as the national park but here also are restrictive measures taken to protect nature.
During the communist regime a large part of Šumava was by law not accessible. This has protected nature in this area for about 40 years against the onward going urbanization and the overcropping on nature. In 1991 the area has been assigned the status of national park and it is open to all visitors. The park is for 80% covered with woods, 10% is agricultural land and the remaining 10% is for roads, water and buildings.
Nature in the National Park is dominated by the vast forests, the streams, the marshes and 8 glacier lakes. Besides the glacier lakes you will also find two water storage reservoirs, the one close to Nýrsko, which is used as the drinking water supply for the city of Klatovy and the famous Lipno Lake. The storage reservoir near Nýrsko may not be used for recreational purposes, the Lipno Lake has limited aquatic possibilities. The mountains of Šumava have an altitude between 600 and 1378 meters.
When you visit the park you will surely be able to see deer and elk, they are very common in the region. Because of the lack of natural enemies the population of these species of animals have grown enormously. To keep the population healthy and at an acceptable level, hunting is permitted on a limited scale. Fortunately a few of the natural enemies have returned.
The lynx is sighted quite frequently and rumour has it that in the most remote parts of the national park a single wolf has been sighted. Also the moose has returned to the southern part of the park. Especially the good quality of the water offers good circumstances for the otter, for trout and waterfowl like the kingfisher.