Protected Animals

Protected Fauna

Aggtelek National Park is the number one spot for large carnivores in Hungary.  The proximity of the Carpathians, and ecological corridors allowing for unhindered passage into the country has meant the return of a number of otherwise thought to be extinct species.
 
Invertebrates deserve special mention, in particular the presence of different bat species. The area provides a variety of appropriate living places (caves, old forests) for many species of bats. Recent intense research has led to the discovery of several new species of karst fauna. Species found only rarely in Hungary, or even Europe, have made their habitats in Aggtelek National Park. For example: the Greater Noctule Bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) or Schreibers' Long-Fingered Bat (Miniopterus schreibersii).
 
Of interest among the rodents is the European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) or souslik. Formerly considered an agricultural pest, its numbers and habitat have drastically dwindled, even given its protected status and within the territory Aggtelek National Park. Habitat loss has been the result of the changes in the traditional agricultural structure and reduction in grazing lands. The abandoned pastures and resulting high grasses have meant adverse conditions for the ground squirrel. The situation has had a negative impact on food stocks not only for the squirrel but for the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and the Saker Falcon as well.
 
Among the raptors, the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aqulia pomarina) is also present in the Park. Conditions are also favourable for the European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), whose numbers while not great, are stable. One may also spot the Short-Toed Snake Eagle (Cicraetus gallicus).
 
A variety of protected insects are represented among the fauna in the Park. For example, the Carabus zawadszkii beetle. In fact, there are approximately 2000 types of butterflies alone, some of which are protected or on the endangered list.
 
You can find a complete list of the protected and endangered fauna within the borders of Aggtelek National Park here (in Hungarian).