Poland is a county with many natural forests and marshes that support a variety of wildlife. This countries landscape includes 23 national parks and holds the second largest number of lakes in the world. 28% of the country is forest land containing a vast variety of natural flora. Some animal species that are unique or rarely found elsewhere can be found in Poland. The wildlife is comprised of over 80 species of mammals and 200 species of birds.
The largest surviving mammal in Europe the European Bison, also known as the Wisent. The bison prefers flat, moist deciduous or mixed forests and are found in the Bialowieza National Park . Standing at 6 feet tall and weighing over 2000 pounds these majestic animals are herbivores. Their diets include leaves, twigs, berries, bark and roots. Traditionally bison were fed during the colder months and its a practice that is still done today.
The Grey Wolf is native to Poland. These animals do not adapt well to civilization and are at risk for extinction. Poland's diverse forest complexes support approximately 800 wolves that prey mainly on deer and sheep. The European Beaver, one of the worlds largest rodents can grow up to 4 1/2 feet long and weigh approximately 70 pounds. These animals were on the verge of extinction until Polish naturalist reintroduced them to the marsh lands to preserve Poland's natural wildlife.
Poland boasts the largest population of the White Stork
. There is no other country that houses more stork residents. Over 40,000 of these large, long necked wading birds nest and breed on the rooftops, chimneys, trees. Nests can be huge, constructed of branches, sticks, grass and sod. Storks feed on the abundant population of insects, snakes, worms and fish found in the area. Homeowners will often set up wagon wheels or other items on their rooftops to encourages nesting.
The European Lynx is the largest of the small cat species. Easily recognized by their short tails and legs they can weigh up to 80 pounds. Their habitat is in the heavily wooded regions of Poland where they can feed on small deer, foxes, bird and rodents.
With Poland's vast array of marsh land, mountain and its increasing number of protected forest land the population of many of these animals whose numbers were dwindling has begun to grow and thrive.