Slovakia’s wildlife is rich and diverse. Hight Tatras National Park shelters an extraordinary collection of wild animals. These are just few examples:
- Red Deer
- Grey Wolf
- Brown Bear
- Tatra Chamois
The red deer is one of the largest deer species. Red deer are herbivores, so they eat stuff like grass, sedges, dandelions, aster, hawkweed, clover, violets, and sometimes mushroom. They were originally discovered in Scotland. A male red deer is called a stag, and a female red deer is called a hind. The antlers on a male can measure up to one meter in width and weigh up to 15kg. Like any other deer, they shed their antlers and grow new ones.
Red deer are very populated, so there is no concern regarding them going extinct. The two concerns are deforestation and where red deer will go, and hybridization/crossbreeding with sika deer. The red deer population is still carefully managed to maintain healthy herds and keep a natural balance with the natural environment.
Brown bears live primarily in the High Tatra Mountains. There are only 800 to 900 brown bears in Slovakia. Due to the excessive hunting in the 1930’s they were almost eradicated from Slovakia. Today, they are protected by both national and international legislation. Since the population of brown bear has been increasing over the last few years, the number of human/bear conflicts have increased resulting in more injuries.
Brown bears can live up to 35 years. Brown bears are omnivorous, which means they eat plants and meat. they eat berries, invertebrates such as insects, larvae, grubs, bugs, beetles, and earthworms. The main meat they eat is fish, such as sockeye salmon, pink salmon, coho, Chinook salmon, Masu, and chum salmon.
There are about 2,800 lynx in the carpathian mountain range. They eat mice, squirrels, and birds, but prefer snowshoe hare. The population of lynx can fluctuate sometimes because they are so dependent on the snowshoe hare. This happens every ten years or so. Bigger lynx, hunt deer and other large prey in addition to small animals. Lynx hunt at night so you rarely see them. They are excellent predators. The tufts on their ears help them hear better, and their eyes sight is so strong that they can spot a mouse 250 feet away.
Lynx mate in early spring and late winter. About two months later, the female will give birth. Humans sometimes hunt lynx for their fur.
For more information about these, and many other animal species, and living in Slovakia, please visit this website.