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Freitag, 16. Juni 2017

Pelister beauty with characteristics of the Alps

Pelister National Park is the smallest of the three national parks in Macedonia, but not less impressive than Mavrovo and Galicica. The unique national richness, endemic animals and plants at the Baba mountain range made Pelister the first national park in Macedonia back in 1948.

The park encompasses an area of 17,150 hectares at a height above sea level ranging between 927m up to 2,601m.

The wonderful landscapes are Pelister's trademark, including tame meadows, surrounded by thick Macedonian pines (molika), the pure water springs, waterfalls and mountainous lakes, also known as the Pelister Eyes, moraines and diverse flora and fauna.

The park bears the name of its most impressive peaks Pelister, almost always in the clouds. Its grey color coming from the white-grey stone resemble a grey dove nested in the green bosom of Baba mountain. In fact, so says a legend on the origin of its name, according to which the name comes from the Greek word 'peristeri' meaning a dove. According to another legend, the name comes from the five-needled pine called 'petlister'. Although located in the country's south, it is the only range having the characteristics of the Alps.

The Macedonian pine (molika) is Pelister's natural trait and probably the most deserving for its status as a national park and the trademark of the city of Bitola.

Molika is a species of pine native to the mountains of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, the extreme southwest of Serbia, and the extreme north of Greece, growing typically at 1,000-2,200m altitude. It often reaches the alpine tree line in this area. The mature size is up to 35–40 m height, and 1.5 m trunk diameter. However, the height of the tree diminishes strongly near the upper fores limit and may even obtain shrub sizes.

The fir tree and beech are also part of the park, as well as 21 types of plants and rich fauna, including the endemic Pelister and Pelagonija trout.

Another natural phenomenon of the Pelister National Park are the moraines, i.e. a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier. Unfortunately, these moraines are reducing due to the enlargement of the molika-covered areas.

Pelister is also known for its glacial lakes - the Small Lake at 2,200m above sea level, the Big Lake at 2,400m, as well as the Eagle's Lake. They are impressive not only by their beauty, but the specific types of endemic shrimps that live in them.

Author: Keti Mickovska

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