CZ: Mohelenska Steppe – A Step from Africa
The Czech Republic stands among the most varied European landscapes thanks to its colorfulness and variety of nature. Something similar offers perhaps only Slovakia, but it isn’t better than than the Czech Republic, just the opposite. Today we move just bit southwards, nearby Trebic or Namest nad Oslavou. There, nearby Dalesice Dam there is the Mohelenska Hadcova Steppe National Natural Reservation located above one of the River’s Jihlava, meanders known also as "the Devil’s Tail ". The reservation covers the area of 59,23 hectares most of which are declared as specific protected area. And what is so unique about this place? Local steppes, grassy areas under a specific microclimate with low level of precipitation and considerable differences in temperatures. This repels higher woody plants but attracts lower woody plants and bushes. Local lands are thus somewhere in between steppe and African savanna. This statement isn’t over exaggerated that much and you may ask how such a land could be between Moravia and Bohemia? It is a result of specific serpentinite bedrock which was an inspiration for the name. - Mohelenská Hadcova (Serpentinite) Steppe . Serpentinite is formed from tectonic rocks rich on potassium. Together with lack of moisture this combination is not particularly friendly to fertility of soil. However, it accumulates heat which benefits low plants. Also many life species enjoy local environment, namely insects and small reptiles. There is no need to add that naturalists feel there like in heaven and they felt the same also in the beginning of the 20th century, the time when the first incentive to found a reservation had emerged. However, a reservation wasn’t established as it had been decided that serpentinite mining was more important. Mining ceased in the beginning of the 1930s and soon protected area there was declared, in 1933.
A four kilometer long nature trail was founded more than two decades later. Today it is little more than 3 kilometers and it is divided to spring and autumn trail (based on regulated pasture). From ten infoboards visitors can learn about every important thing related to local history, nature of local biotope, galleries of rare plants and animals and other important things. Free movement is, however, forbidden. The nature trail is considered easy.
Around the town of Mohelno are many other interesting things – historical buildings, the ruins of Templstejn Castle, Ketkovsky Castle, Rabstejns or the Dalesicka Dam, or Dukovany nuclear power plant etc.
Text: Jan Chaloupka
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