Narwiański National Park – (Polish Amazonia)
The Park was created in 1996 in the place of Narwiański Landscape Park and its symbol is Western Marsh harrier. The most valuable part of this park is the swamp valley of Narew with many riverbeds, which creates marshes similar to lakes.
Similar course of the river can only be found in Amazon or Congo, while in Europe this kind of landscape is unique. That is why Poland placed the highest form of protection upon it. Sometimes it is called “Polish Amazonia”. The comparison is actually a very accurate one as the area is full of splitting riverbeds, oxbow lakes and marshes with rich fauna and flora. The total area of the park is equal to 7 350 ha. The park is located in Podlaskie Voivodeship in districts: highmazovian (community Sokoły and Kobylin Borzymy) and Bialystok: (communities: Łapy, Turośń, Kościelna, Suraż, Tykocin and Choroszcz). The seat of the park is located in mansion in Kurow.
Fauna – in Narew valley there are 203 species of birds and 28 of that is globally endangered. In the park natural, unchanged by men swamps and marshes survived. Narwiański National Park is a refuge for mating of water-mud oriented birds of European scale. Some of them have on its territory their only mating place in Europe. It mostly a mating place for endangered species such as White-tailed Eagle, Corn crake and Aquatic warbler. Permanent inhabitants of marshes and swamps of Narew Valley are 34 mammals species. Among the we can meet moose called the King of the swamps, otter, muskrat, racoon dog, European mink, least weasel and many others. A new species that took liking to Narew area is American Mink. This species originates from the individuals that run away from private farms and fares pretty well in the wild.
Flora – the list of plant species found in Narew Valley is extraordinary long. The swamps and marsh areas there are over 200 species of vascular plants that includes 22 species carexes and grasses. The most common species are reed beds of carex and common reed as well as many water plants. Despite many years of studies both the plant and animal lists are not complete as many are not yet described and identified.
Entire area of the park holds also many relicts of folk architecture: wooden – one can find here a house covered with thatched roof, windmills, chapels and other buildings reminding us of the past.