Natural Values

Natural Values

Biodiversity In The Park
The abundance of different land surface forms, the great diversity of soil types and unequal irrigation conditions led to the great diversity of vegetation in Pavilniai Regional Park and its accesses. Over 750 species of Lithuanian flora have been recorded in this relatively small area. Although the city is unrecognizably changing the natural environment, natural plant communities and habitats of rare species have survived to this day on the steep slopes and marshes.
In Markučiai and Ribiškės hills, more natural vegetation has survived only in wet places. Among the more interesting floristic finds are Lathyrus ochraceus, listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book, and the white Wood-rush (Luzula luzuloides), also a rather rare plant.
There is a great diversity of plant communities and species in Ribiškės.
Remains of old mature oak groves should be mentioned, along with them grow common lindens and common maple. In the uninhabited hills, on dry slopes of common dry meadows you will find: Hard Fescue (Festuca trachyphylla), Teesdale Violet (Viola rupestris), broad-leaved thyme (Thymus pulegioides), etc.
Perennial star gentian (Gentiana cruciata) is found in these communities.
Land meadows are very colorful, because they are rich in legumes (clover, vetch, pea), other plants that bloom with beautiful flowers (cauldrons, sagebrushes, veronics, buttercups). The same colorful communities of lowland meadows located on the springs of the source streams: Cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum), marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris), meadow geranium (Geranium pratense), bistort (Bistorta officinalis), etc.

The diversity of forest communities is most abundant in the Mountain Reserve. Here, its diversity depends on the complex terrain, different soil types and irrigation conditions. Where the slopes face south, along with spruce begin to grow, common oak, common maple, common linden and aspen.
In the spring terrace of the Vilnius Valley below the Tuputiškės well, you will find complexes of swampy and bushy meadows.
On the shores of the springs, meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), tufted sedge (Carex elata), wood clubrush (Scirpus sylvaticus), large bitter-cress (Cardamine amara) are common.
In some places, the meandering passes into bushy peat meadows or the spectacular broad-leaved grasslands rising on the slope.
Pūčkoriai loops will get a lot of the Red Book Perennial Honesty (Lunaria rediviva) population located on a steep slope overgrown with deciduous trees.   
In the Tuputiškės Botanical Reserve, there is a great diversity of forest communities. In the fertile soils at the foot of the spring slopes there are white alder groves with the admixture of elm, and above the slopes they are replaced by ash trees.
Old oaks grow on the slopes, and the lush grassy cover yellow anemone (Anemone ranunculoides) and spring pea (Lathyrus vernus).
As the oak grove grows thinner, fragments of colorful forest meadows form on the slopes of the southern or southwestern exposition, where more than 40 species grow.

Similar communities grow on the steep hills and valley slopes on the right bank of Vilnius, Belmont Botanical-Zoological Reserve. At Leoniškės, the Pūčkoriai slopes are covered with broadleaf trees communities. Almost all the most common species of forest shrubs are recorded in their abundant tract: common hazel (Corylus avellana), fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum), spindle either European or warted (Euonymus europaeus; verrucosus), bird cherry (Prunus padus), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), etc. Among the grasses the most impressive is the martagon lily (Lilium martagon).
The forests in the Barsukyne area are dark, cold and poor. Spruce groves growing in humid valley and their steep northern or eastern slopes are not floristically diverse. Wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), common hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) and yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) predominate.
Wild life

Natural or semi-natural communities in Pavilniai Regional Park, mostly forests, occupy more than 75%. They are rich in: small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and other animals. Most of the natural complexes in the park area are heavily affected by human activities, resulting in anthropogenic biotypes. There are new areas in the human sphere that are very valuable from a scientific and environmental point of view. There are quite few valuable fish species in the Vilnia River. Water bodies are inhabited by both ordinary as well as very rare and valuable rivers fish: zarte, salmon.

Vilnius is included in the list of rivers of international significance where salmon populations are to be restored. In order to create conditions for fish (salmon and sea trout) to migrate and enter the upper reaches of Vilnia river, a fish stairway was installed in the old Pūčkoriai dam in 2000.

The bunkers of Antakalnis - the kingdom of bats. You can find here up to 7 species of winter bats: barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus), daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii), pond bat (Myotis dasycneme), brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) and northern bat (Eptesicus nilssonii). Mostly here you can find the barbastelle bat, very rare in the countries of the European Union, and therefore strictly protected by international instruments.
Natura 2000 is the European Union's network of protected areas, covering most of Europe's protected areas. This network connects the EU's most fragile and valuable natural habitats and species, which are of particular importance to biodiversity across Europe. A natural habitat is a unique complex of nature, in which living and non-living nature form a unified whole, such as: delta, lagoon, gypsum karst lakes, white dunes, high marshes, alluvial meadows, forest meadows. In 2006, the Natura 2000 network covered 10%. territories of the country. One of those are can be found in Pavilniai Regional Park.
 Antakalnis bunkers (European code - LTVIN0015, area 0.83 ha) (NATURA2000) have been identified as an area meeting the selection criteria for areas important for the protection of natural habitats. The bunkers on Šilo Street are home to one of the largest wintering grounds for bats in south-eastern Lithuania. According to scientists, up to 7 species of bats are found here. One of them – the barbastelle bat (Barbastella barbastellus) - is protected by European Union directives. Antakalnis’ bunkers have been declared a site of European importance for this specie.
Protected Objects
Protected landscape objects - individual or grouped natural objects are protected due to their scientific, cultural, cognitive and other value. There are many types of protected natural landscapes - geological, hydrogeological, geomorphological, botanical objects. These objects can be of state (established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania) or local (established by municipal administrations). The most valuable protected landscape objects are declared natural monuments.
Pavilniai Regional Park has one state-protected natural monument - the pearl of the Vilnius Valley - Pūčkorių Atodanga. It was declared protected in 1974. It is probably the highest and most impressive outcrop in Lithuania, formed by the fast waters of the Vilnia River. Its height is more than 65 m, width - 260 m. In the Pūčkoriai outcrop you can see a layer of old Medininkai glaciation, wrinkled by later glaciers. Layers of moraine and sand of different ages are very mix up, turned in places perpendicularly or with bright wrinkles, excavated clumps, wedges. It is obvious that the moraine and intermoraine rocks formed by the penultimate ice age (moraine loam with boulders, gravel, sand, siltstone, clay, etc.) were formed by the glacier as it slid. In the Pūčkoriai outcrop, three horizontal parts of the slope stand out.
Today, rain and wind destroy the upper part: very steep, with new ditches under the roots of the trees. The grooves visible in the middle part of the slope are constantly spread and deepened by the streams of snowmelt and rainwater. The lower part ends up growing with trees and shrubs, because the water of Vilnius is no longer able to wash away the growing accumulation of debris. There are a lot of gravel and quite large stones in this area.
The outcrop also contains boulders with rocks from the Mesozoic era, the most interesting geological period in Earth's history, made famous by dinosaurs.
A deposit of Jurassic sediments with remnants of ancient fauna (belemnites, ammonites) and a white Cretaceous Cretaceous system were discovered. The first was described by Br. Rydzevskis (1925), the second by L. Micas (1946).
From the top of this outcrop, a wonderful panorama of the Vilnius Valley opens up. The landscape of the Vilnia bend was changing faster than the exposure itself, as it was influenced by human activities. As early as the 17th century, there were large and well-equipped weapons factories in front of the outcrop. The area of the former French watermill is further visible. The high-rise Pūčkoriai outcrop looks beautiful from the bottom of the valley as well. Both the exposure and its environment are protected in the Pūčkoriai Landscape Reserve.
By the decision of Vilnius City Council (No. 129) of 1996, ROKANTIŠKIŲ KALVA was declared a protected geomorphological landscape object of local significance. The 5-hectare hill is recognized as the highest point in Vilnius - an absolute height of 230,7 m.
On May 27, 2009 by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 518 "On approval of the plan of the boundaries of Pavilniai Regional Park and its zones" Rokantiškės hill was connected to the territory of Pavilniai Regional Park.
Landscape Reserves
Reserves of this type are established in order to preserve unique and typical natural and cultural landscape complexes. Pavilniai Regional Park has as many as five landscape reserves.
RIBIŠKĖS LANDSCAPE RESERVE is established to preserve the large erosive fans, which are characterized by a particularly pronounced relief mosaic of agricultural lands and homesteads located at the bottom of the valley, wooded strips of narrow slopes botanically valuable fragments of mature oak groves, spring meadows with rare plants, the Kaukysa stream reminiscent of Baltic mythology.
Professor Č. Kudaba said: there is no analogue of such relief in Lithuania, and I do not know a similar one elsewhere in Europe. According to him, this phenomenon could have occurred only in special conditions in a completely cold layer of moraine sediments. Once upon a time, in the western part of Vilnius, the edges of the glacier stretched, and in the eastern part, there was a desert of frozen moraine deposits. The melting water of the glacier flowed through the current area of the city with powerful flows. The water flowing west in an unusual channel created unusual shapes on the earth's surface, erroneous labyrinths of valleys. Water warmer than ice melted the soil, and streams of crawling mud rapidly deepened the ditches. The structure of the hill is well visible in non-forested areas.
There are few natural water bodies in the territory of the reserve - the Ribiškės hill is crossed by the Kaukysos stream and several small streams almost in the middle. A wide variety of plant communities and species is found in Ribiškės. There are old mature oak groves with a typical grass cover, spring-fed meadows with rare plant species. Dry meadows are common on uninhabited hills and dry and warm slopes. They grow star gentians (Gentiana cruciata), carline thistles (Carlina vulgaris) and other more interesting plants. Ribiškės is also characterized by colorful communities of lowland meadows, located on the spring banks of streams.
ANCUČIAI LANDSCAPE RESERVE was established to preserve the ecosystems of the deep-carved slopes and the largest erosive slope of Vilnius with spruce communities and rare and endangered species.

The IŠKARTAI LANDSCAPE RESERVE preserves large erosive fans with a particularly pronounced relief, a traditional mosaic of agrarian lands and homesteads located at the bottom of the valley, and wooded stripes. Šilo and Žolyno streets were built at the bottom of deep and wide slopes, once called Sapieha ditches.
Žolyno Street rests on the Iškartų erosive Hill. The origin of these slopes was described by Professor A. Basalykas:
From its shape it is not difficult to guess that others at the bottom of that circus erupted at the source that gave rise to the stream. The slope washed by the spring constantly collapsed and retreated upwards, and the fallen soil was carried away by the stream. Also, the dry valleys, old ditches and ravines of these erosive hills open only to the third terrace of the Neris. The hills and the terrace are believed to be of the same age (found about 13 thousand years ago).
For a long time, the level of the glacial lagoon was at the height of the third terrace, therefore this period is especially important in the history of Vilnius surface formation: slopes were carved the most, erosive hills were formed, forests grew due to the warming of the climate. A regime of protection and use of the landscape reserve has been established to preserve the Iškartų erosive hill. The mountain range is mostly flooded with visitors on clear winter days - Vilnius is a popular place to ski in Šveicarija. For a long time, the level of the glacial lagoon was at the height of the third terrace, therefore this period is especially important in the history of Vilnius surface formation: slopes were carved the most, erosive hills were formed, forests grew due to the warming of the climate. A regime of protection and use of the landscape reserve has been established to preserve the erosive hill immediately. The mountain range is mostly flooded with visitors on clear winter days - Vilnius is a popular place to ski in Šveicarija.
   It is certainly known that once, 13-14 thousand years ago, mammoths wandered after Pavilniai erosive hills. In 1957, in Antakalnis, Smėlio Street, on the third terrace of the Neris Valley, a unique discovery was found at the river mouth of a dry valley - mammoth skeletons, probably floated in that valley.
The PŪČKORIAI LANDSCAPE RESERVE preserves a steeply sloping deep-carved massif and the ecosystem of the largest erosive slope in Vilnius with linden and oak communities and protected plants. This reserve contains the only natural (geological) monument protected by the state in Pavilniai Park - the Pūčkoriai outcrop.
Landscape Reserves
Geomorphological reserves are established to protect complexes of typical and unique relief forms.
Pavilniai Regional Park has established the GEOMORPHOLOGICAL RESERVE. It preserves the longest erosional ridge in Lithuania, forming a complex system of it. Erosional ridge is long complex, positive relief forms, remnants of the former surface of the earth, formed between the valleys of the ravines, which have been eroded by abundant running water. There are four erosional ridges in the regional park: the Great and Small of the Plains, the Sapieginė, and the Šveicarija. They form a long chain of hills with ridges of almost a kilometer.
The longest is erosional ridge of Lyglaukiai, overgrown with old pinewood, offering panoramic views of the dry valleys, hills and Vilnius city. The most natural and the highest is the erosional ridge of Sapieginė, although the remains of defensive devices are still inside.
The erosion of Šveicarija stretches along Žolyno Street, slowly descending towards Antakalnio Street. The highest point of this attraction is at the center of Vilnius - 53 m, the absolute height above sea level reaches 185 meters. Vilnius Šveicarija is famous as a favourite place for skiers.
TUPUTIŠKĖS GEOMORPHOLOGICAL RESERVE preserves a typical slopes system.
Botanical reserves
The purpose of TUPUTIŠKAI BOTANICAL RESERVE is to preserve the fragments of oak groves with forest meadows, as well as fragments of lime trees, a complex of alder communities with diverse grass cover and vegetation (ash) of spring streams. Perennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva), Corydalis intermedia and Poa remota, as well as relatively rare and circular plant species. Greater tussock-sedge (Carex paniculata), woodland draba (Draba nemorosa), common agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), garden angelica (Angelica archangelica), common barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Silene baccifera, hard rush (Juncus inflexus), slender rush (Juncus tenuis) and others.
ANTAKALNIS BOTANICAL RESERVE is intended to preserve the erosional rigde of Sapieginė with the complexes of spruce and broad-leaved forest communities and their characteristic grass cover and Turk's cap lily (Lilium martagon) population.
BELMONT BOTANICAL-ZOOLOGICAL RESERVE - to preserve the Belmont Forest massif on a steep erosive plateau with pine communities with abundant and diverse fauna and rare plants.
Mountain natural reserve
KALNAI NATURAL RESERVE was established to preserve the most natural ecosystem of Pavilniai Regional Park, which includes a clear zone of erosive fans and erosional ridge area with spruce and oak communities and abundant fauna of small mammals and butterflies. It is one of the smallest nature reserves in Lithuania. Its territory is dominated by dark spruce trees with sparse grass cover, many common oaks, maples, lindens and aspens, fragments of oak groves, as well as white alder and black alder stands. The communities of broadleaf spruce and oak groves are rich in small mammal and butterfly species.
In the Mountain Nature Reserve, it is not allowed to use natural resources, engage in other economic activities, or even visit its territory. Research and observations are carried out here, training paths can be installed, and measures for the restoration of natural ecosystems can be implemented. If necessary, it is allowed to cut bushes and mow, in order to preserve rare plant and animal species and communities.