Wolf (Canis lupus)
The wolf is the most numerous predatory mammal to be found in the Bieszczady region and Poloniny National Park. It is a symbol of the Poloniny National Park.
Wolves prefer to stay away from people – choosing large forest complexes rich in game animals. The basis of the wolf's diet are ungulates – deer, roe deer and wild boar. They supplement their diet with smaller animals – beavers, hares and even rodents. A family group can have from a few to a dozen members. The wolf is a legally protected animal.
Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
The eurasian lynx is a rare and strictly protected species of wild felids. It became a symbol of the Bieszczady National Park.
Its distinctive features are mottled red fur, a short tail and tufted ears. Lynx need vast areas to live, mixtures of forests and meadows rich in game animals. They mainly hunt roe deer, young deer and wild boars, also some smaller mammals and birds. They are loners. The female usually gives birth to 2 or 3 cubs, which she takes care of for about a year.
Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
The brown bear is the largest predator in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains. Bears are particularly active during estrous cycle (May and June) also in autumn, feeding intensively before winter sleep.
They are omnivores. They eat fruits, such as apples and blueberries, beech and hazel fruits, mushrooms, honey and also carrion. They also hunt mammals, rodents, birds and fish. Bears lead a solitary lifestyle, with the exception of females caring for their cubs. The young are born during winter and remain with mother for several months.
Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
The red deer is the most numerous representative of large herbivores in the Bieszczady Mountains and Poloniny National Park. Prefers extensive deciduous and mixed forests with a rich undergrowth, neighboring the meadows.
Deer feeds on plant shoots, leaves, fruits of trees and shrubs, grasses and in winter - shoots of evergreen blackberries. It lives in herds of hinds (females), bulls (males) and calves. The bull's antlers are quite large - they can be up to 90 cm in length and about 10 kg in weight. The deer mating season, known as the rut, takes place at the turn of September and October.
Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)
The roe deer next to the red deer, is the most numerous representative of ungulates in Carpathian Mountains.
It mostly inhabits mixed areas of forests, meadows and pastures, living in small herds. The mating season for roe deer lasts from July to August, but the cubs are not born until May next year. During the first months of life, cubs have a characteristic stained fur, helpful to hide from predators.
Black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
The black woodpecker is the largest European woodpecker with a characteristic black plumage and visible red cap on its head.
Its food are insects, especially beetles and ants, carved from the rotting trunks. It lives in old forests with enough trees to forge large hollows with a diameter up to 12 cm. Abandoned hollows of woodpecker are used by other birds, martens, squirrels, dormice and bats.
Ural owl (Strix uralensis)
The ural owl is a large owl with a characteristic long tail. In both Bieszczady and Poloniny Parks it occurs in old mixed forests, especially beech forests with admixture of fir and spruce.
Most often it nests in large natural hollows, sometimes it also inhabits the nests of birds of prey and ravens. Breeding begins at the end of February-beginning of March. Young birds leave the hollow at the turn of April and May, even before they are able to fly. These owls are active both at night and during the day. They eat mainly rodents, but also small and medium-sized birds, sometimes even smaller owls. Together with the tawny owl, they are the most numerous owls in both national parks.
Common buzzard (Buteo buteo)
The common buzzard is the most numerous bird of prey in both Bieszczady and Poloniny National Parks. It belongs to medium-sized predators.
They mostly inhabits areas where forests alternate with meadows and pastures. They like to hunt in open areas, mainly on rodents but also amphibians, insects and earthworms. In winter quite often they eat carrion.
Common raven (Corvus corax)
The common raven is the largest occurring in the Bieszczady and Poloniny NP species of ravens with a characteristic black color with a metallic sheen.
It most often inhabits forest edges and mid-field tree clusters. Ravens are omnivores. They eat carrion, hunt rodents, amphibians, reptiles and insects, and they do not despise fruits and seeds. Since carcasses constitute 2/3 of their food, they play a very important role in nature – they eat the remains of prey hunted by large predators.
Fire-bellied toad (Bombina variegata)
The Fire-bellied toad is a small amphibian resembling a small toad. It is associated almost exclusively with the Carpathian Mountains and foothills.
It lives in small ponds, trail ruts and puddles, in which it stays from April to September. It is easy to recognize by its bright yellow or orange belly covered in gray or black spots. Toad’s food is invertebrates: earthworms, snails, spiders, beetles and ants. In summer it is the most frequently seen and heard amphibian in the Bieszczady Mountains and Poloniny NP.
Corncrake (Crex crex)
The corncrake is a small bird from the Rail family, with a very secret lifestyle. It is difficult to spot him because he escapes on foot, sneaking through the grass.
During May and June you can hear loud rattling sound of a male – "kreks-kreks". The corncrake inhabits extensively used meadows and pastures. In the Bieszczady Mountains and in the Poloniny National Park, it’s quite numerous, both in the valleys and the alpine meadows. Prey mostly on insects and snails, diversifying the diet with green parts of plants and their seeds.