Tatra National Park, Slovakia
|Tatra National Park
Tatranský národný park
|Location||Tatra mountains, North Central Slovakia|
|Area||738 km² (284.9 mi²)|
|Established||1 January 1949|
|Governing body||Správa Tatranského národného parku (The administration of the Tatra National Park)|
Tatra(s) National Park (Slovak: Tatranský národný park; abbr. TANAP) is one of the nine national parks in Slovakia. It is situated in North Central Slovakia in the Tatra Mountains. The Tatra National Park protects the area of the Western Tatras (Západné Tatry) and the Eastern Tatras (Východné Tatry).
The National Park covers an area of 738 km² (284.9 mi²), and the buffer zone around the park covers an area of 307 km² (118.5 mi²); 1045 km² together. The park offers 600 km of hiking trails and 16 marked and maintained bike trails.
Park creation and history 
The park was established on 1 January 1949, and it is the oldest national park in Slovakia. In 1987, the Western Tatras were affiliated to the National Park. In 1993, the National Park became a part of the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme. The areas of the park and its buffer zone were adjusted in 2003. Since 2004, the National Park belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network.
The west part of the Tatra National Park is situated in the Žilina Region and the east part in the Prešov Region. The Tatra National Park is located in the area of the Western Tatras (Západné Tatry) and the Eastern Tatras (Východné Tatry). The Western Tatras are divided into Osobitá, Roháče, Sivý vrch (literally Grey Mountain), Liptovské Tatry (Liptov Tatras), Liptovské Kopy, Červené vrchy (Red Mountains). The Eastern Tatras consist of High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry) and Belianske Tatras (Belianske Tatry).
There are more than a hundred of mountain lakes (tarns) in the park. Veľké Hincovo pleso is the biggest one with an area of 0,2 km² and the deepest one with 58 m. The area around the settlement of Štrbské Pleso is a border between two drainage basins. To the east of this border, streams form the Poprad River, which belongs to the Baltic Sea drainage basin. To the west streams are tributaries of the Váh, which belongs to the Black Sea drainage basin. The most popular waterfalls include Studenovodské vodopády, Kmeťov vodopád, Vajanského vodopád, Roháčsky vodopád, and Vodopád Skok.
The highest point in the park is Gerlachovský štít at 2,655 m ASL, highest peak in Slovakia, the Tatra Mountains and the Carpathian Mountains. Bystrá is the highest mountain in the Western Tatras at 2,248 m ASL, and Havran (literally Raven) is the highest point in the Belianske Tatras at 2,152 m ASL.
Biology and ecology 
The geological composition, soil properties and climate conditions all contribute to the original flora and fauna in the park.
Almost two thirds of the park are covered with forests, mainly spruce and fir. The most widespread tree is the Norway Spruce, followed by the Scots Pine, Swiss Pine, European Larch, and Mountain Pine. Leafy trees, especially Maples, mainly grow in the Belianske Tatras.
About 1,300 species of vascular plants grow in the park, of which 37 are endemic to the Tatras, 41 are endemic to the Western Carpathians and 57 are endemic to the Carpathians. Notable plants endemic to the Tatras include Erysimum wahlenbergii of the Wallflower genus, Cochlearia tatrae, Erigeron hungaricus of the Erigeron genus, and others. Ice age relicts include Ranunculus alpestris of the Ranunculus genus, Glacier Crowfoot, Dianthus glacialis of the Dianthus genus, Gentiana frigida of the Gentian genus, Primula minim of the Primula genus, yellow mountain saxifrage, Dwarf Willow, Net-leaved Willow, and others.
Animals are represented by 115 species of birds, 42 mammals, 8 reptiles, and 3 amphibians. There are also a lot of invertebrates. Notable ice age relicts are Branchinecta paludosa, Three-toed Woodpecker, Ring Ouzel, Spotted Nutcracker, and others.
- "Inorganic nature". Tatras National Park. no date. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
- "A Man and nature". Tatras National Park. no date. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
- "Príroda TANAPu [Nature of TANAP]" (in Slovak). Štátne lesy TANAPu. no date. Retrieved May 21, 2007.
- "Living nature". Tatras National Park. no date. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
- "Rupicapra rupicapra ssp. tatrica". International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. no date. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tatra National Park, Slovakia|
- Tatra National Park Administration official website
- Tatra National Park travel guide
- Tatra National Park at Slovakia.travel