Fruška gora Mountain was proclaimed a National Park in 1960 in order to provide its permanent protection and to improve its natural resources and beauty. The area of active protection is 25.525 ha. Fruška gora Mt is an isolated, narrow, island mountain in Pannonian plain. Its location, specific geological history and different microclimatic conditions make it very interesting and important to science. Thanks to unique and very rich deposits of fossil fauna and flora, it is called the ‘mirror of geological past’. The main characteristic of this region is the existence of numerous protected, rare and endangered species.

Fruška gora’s valleys are covered with pastures and fertile fields, numerous vineyards and orchards which decorate its lower slopes, while higher ground, above 300 m is covered with dense deciduous forests. Fruška gora hides 17 orthodox monasteries famous for their specific architecture, treasuries, libraries and frescoes, and numerous archeological sites from prehistoric and historic times as well.

The oldest records about nature of Fruška gora were made by botanists in the middle of the 18th century, followed by numerous geological, paleontological and geomorphologic studies.

Flora of Fruška gora Mt is very diverse and specific. There are about 1500 species growing in the protected zone of the national park. Angiosperms are the most numerous group, making more than 90 % of whole flora. Among dicotyledons, the most species abundant families are Ranunculaceae, Apiaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Lamiaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae and Asteraceae, while families Liliaceae, Orchidaceae and Poaceae have the biggest numbers of species within monocotyledons.

As for vegetation, Fruška gora Mt represents a forest area with varied types of climatogenous communities. Polydominant forests cover about 90 % of the total surface of the National Park. Dominant forests are mesophillous mixed forests of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), orographically conditioned beech forests (Fagus sylvatica), as well as thermophilous forests of Turkey oak (Q. cerris), pubescent oak (Q. pubescens) and Hungarian oak (Q. frainetto).

Taken from http://www.npfruskagora.co.rs/pages/onama-eng.htm where you can find out more about National Park Fruška gora

Special Nature Reserve “Titelski breg” – Titel Hill – 1st stop

“Titelski breg” or Titel Hill is a specific geomorphological unit in southeastern Bačka and lonely loess plateau formed during the Pleistocene. It is located between the town of Titel in the south, the villages of Lok, Vilovo and Šajkaš in the south-west, the village of Mošorin in the north, and Tisa river in the east. Titel Hill is 18 km long and 7.5 km wide, with steep cliffs, up to 60 m high along Tisa. The surface of the plateau is 80 km2 and the average altitude is 120 m..

There are different concepts of origin and evolution of this unique geographical phenomenon. One group of authors claimed that Titel Hill was formed by separating from Srem loess plateau due to fluvial erosion of the Danube river. This teory is supported by morphology of loess sections at Stari Slankamen and Titel. Some other authors (i.e. Bukurov, 1976) were considered that Titel Hill and Srem loess plateau has been always separated and that they are deposits of loess, formed by the Tisza and Danube River independently.

According to data obtained by botanists during past two centuries, flora of Titel loess plateau counts about 630 plant taxa. The whole area has a relic character due to domination of certain type of steppes. The most important steppe species are: Sternbergia colchiciflora – a post-glacial and xerothermic relic species, Iris pumila, Adonis vernalis, Allium rotundum subsp. waldsteinii, as well as critically endangered – Allium atroviolaceum and Sysimbrium polymorphum.

The Gallery of Naive arts in Kovačica – 2nd stop

The Gallery of Naive arts in Kovačica was established on the 15th May 1955 when self-taught local artisans decided to gift at least one of their paintings to the collection, in order to form the painting fund. The establishment of the Center of culture of Kovačica granted the first floor of its structure for the Gallery of Naive arts, so during time there were more paintings within the collection. In the seventies of the 20th century the cooperation with the National Museum of Pancevo had started, whose experts and art historians contributed to the treatment and elaborateness of the naive artisan register. Since the January 2009 the Gallery of Naive arts works as the independent institution. Thanks to the naive artists of Kovacica and their successors, the painting art of the Slovaks in Vojvodina became famous throughout the world, and makes the most prominent and most frequented tourist attraction of Kovacica visited by a number of visitors.

Taken from http://www.panacomp.net/gallery-naive-art-kovacica/ where you can find more about The Gallery of Naive arts in Kovačica

Special Nature Reserve “Deliblatska peščara” – Deliblato Sands – 3rd stop and lunch

Deliblato Sands represent a unique geomorphological and biogeographical phenomenon and the largest continental sand area in Europe. It is located in southern Banat, in northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, covering over 34.829 ha of its ground. The main characteristic of Deliblato Sands is a specific geological structure – large crust of aeolian siliceous-carbonate deposits of sand, originating from the Pleistocene. The wind Košava has molded expressive dune relief, which elevation varies between 70 and 200 meters. Unusual relief and soil, with moderate continental climate and absence of surface water caused forming of specific vegetation on sand, as well as steppe, steppe-woods and forests. As a largest oasis of sand-steppes and steppe-woods in Pannonian Basin, Special Nature Reserve “Deliblato Sands” is one of the most important centers of biological diversity of Europe and the most important steppe area in Serbia.

With the goal of sand binding and stabilization, the process of forestation has begun since 1815. Also, in 1978 grazing was completely forbidden. Nowadays, the larger part of Deliblato Sands is covered with acacia and pine forests, but significant area of this nature reserve still remained unaltered.

Deliblato Sands is a species rich territory, with more than 1.000 plants, which form sand, steppe, forest, marsh and water plant communities. According to international standards, many of these plant species are considered to be rare or endemic to Pannonian Basin. The most distinctive plants in central part of the natural reserve are: Steppe peony, Oak of Virgil, Pancic’s wormwood, Bulrush and Dwarf-steppe almond. Also, 20 different species of family Orchidaceae can be seen in this area during spring and summer.

Slano Kopovo, Rusanda and Okanj are the most representative examples of the Pannonic salt lakes in the Serbian part of the Pannonian plain. They are located in the vicinity of Novi Bečej and Melenci in Banat region (Vojvodina, northern Serbia). These lakes are developed during Quaternary in former riverbeds of the river Tisa that once cut through the loess-sand sediments but were later dissected from the river and became alkaline. The original riverbed shapes have been significantly eroded by waves and in dry seasons by winds.

Compared with other salt lakes of the world, the alkaline lakes of the Pannonian plain are characterised by lower salt content but higher alkalinity. Slano Kopovo is predominantly with sodic-sulphate soil while soils in Rusanda and Okanj are more chloride-sulphate. Two main types of alkaline wetlands can be distinguished by colour. ‘White’ alkaline waters belong to sodium lakes, and are coloured by the greyish-white lime mud accumulating on the bottom. When these lakes beds dry out, sodium ‘blossoms’, i.e. crystals appear on their surface. (This sodium used to be swept up and used as a household detergent). The other type is called ‘black’ alkaline wetlands. They form when white alkaline lakes sediment (fill) up and biological production results in organic debris accumulating on the alkaline lakebed. This type represents a transition form towards freshwater marshes. Black alkaline wetlands are not open lakes, since they are normally rich in aquatic and emergent vegetation. White and black waters may occur simultaneously in the same lakebed. These habitats are mostly of a natural origin and partly influenced by grazing and drainage.

The formation and evolution of lowland alkali areas is shaped by mutual effects of presence of impermeable alluvial deposits, semiarid cllimate with high evaporation rate during summer and hydrogeological conditions. Soil classification groups alkaline soils among hydromorphic soils, which means they are strongly influenced by water, evaporate intensively and the salt dynamics of ground water is the most important factor in their formation. Clay minerals that swell in humid conditions create a columnar structure in solonetz soils, whereas solonchak soils are typically unstructured. Tussocking is often typical in alkaline meadows surrounding salt lakes. Tussocks form primarily because meadow soils regularly break up into columns during the summer droughts or a result of regular trampling by herds. The draining of alkaline wetlands and marshes can cause alkalinisation in even larger areas. This is called secondary alkalinisation.

The vegetation of salt lakes, salt marshes and steppes is determined by two main factors: water and the amount of salt in the soil and water. Most of the alkali habitats (but mainly those in solonetzic soils) have a special, fine scale geomorphology caused by water and partly by wind erosion. This micro-topographical pattern is highly correlated with the vegetation pattern. The conservation of this geomorphology is a crucial task. The mosaic-like structure of different habitats supports an exceptionally rich fauna and flora, with several endemic species. Vegetation is characterised by classes:  Thero-Salicornietea strictae Tüxen in Tüxen et Oberdorfer 1958, Crypsidetea aculeatae Vicherek 1973 and Festuco-Puccinellietea Soó ex Vicherek 1973 and shows characteristic zonation pattern, based on the flooding regime, with dominant salt tolerant grasses and herbs that withstand or even demand salt concentrations in the groundwater. Among the most important vascular plant species recorded in Slano Kopovo, Rusanda and Okanj areas are: Crypsis aculeata, Heliotropium supinum, Pholiurus pannonicus, Plantago schwarzenbergiana, P. tenuiflora, Salicornia europaea, Salsola soda, Silene viscosa, Suaeda pannonica (Pannonic endemic), S. prostrata, Verbena supina.

Slano Kopovo, Rusanda and Okanj host thousands of migrant waterbirds on migration. The basis of this feeding community are salt lakes rich with procaryote cyanobacteria and masses of floating crustaceans consumed directly by waterfiltering birds, as well as by predatory aquatic insects. Some of these floating crustaceans belong to Anostraca and Conchostraca groups and are unique for the Pannonian plain.

Slano Kopovo, Okanj and Rusanda are officially protected in Serbia as Special Nature Reserves (Slano Kopovo and Okanj, respectively) and Nature Park (Rusanda).

Partly taken from http://www.termeszetvedelem.hu/_user/downloads/nok/Alkaline%20lakes%28angol%29.pdf and http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/management/habitats/pdf/1530_Pannonic_salt_steppes.pdf where you can find out more about.

The Special Nature Reserve Zasavica is situated in the South-East Europe, in the Republic of Serbia, on the territory of South Vojvodina and North Mačva, east of the Drina River and south of the Sava River. It comprises territories of Sremska Mitrovica and Bogatić municipalities.

The coordinates, according to Greenwich are 44° 52′ 56″ and 44° 58′ 04″ N, and 19° 24′ 07″ and 19° 36′ 31″ E.

The area is dominated by a biotope of the Zasavica River, in the length of 33.1 km. It is mosaic of aquatic and wetland ecosystems with fragments of flooded forests.

The area of protected asset is 1825 ha, with 675 ha in the first degree protection regime. The backbone of the Reserve make Jovača and Prekopac canals, Batar creek, and Zasavica river, which is connected to the Sava River directly through Bogaz canal. Zasavica River is also supplied by ground waters from the Drina River. The whole system belongs to the Black Sea catchment area and it presents one of few authentic and preserved wetlands of the region.

This calm lowland river provides conditions for survival of numerous and diverse wildlife. This area was put under protection in 1997, on the proposition of the Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia, in order to preserve the river and its banks, as the natural asset of greatest importance.

Zasavica is a part of a national network of Ramsar sites (wetlands protected according to the Ramsar Convention), and according to IUCN management categories, it is Habitat and species management area – category IV. Since 2001 Zasavica is a member of The Europark Federation.

Taken from the official web page http://www.zasavica.org.rs/, where You can find more details on the Special Nature Reserve Zasavica.