The largest single part of the Park in terms of area is composed of landscape reserves, which occupy 13,060 hectares. They protect not only the park’s most valuable landscapes, but also habitat for animals and plants as well as ethnographic villages.

The most valuable segments of the largest rivers in the Park have been declared reserves. The Nemunas reserve includes the middle reaches of the Nemunas Valley between Merkinė and Krikštonys with its unique geomorphological and hydrographic elements (washes, islands, cliffs, and river shoals), distinctive villages, archaeological sites, and biological communities inhabiting the forested washes.

The Liškiava reserve protects one of the most picturesque bends of the Nemunas in Lithuania, with especially valuable historic hill-forts, an architectural monastery ensemble, and unique geomorphological complexes, including the Nemunas terrain carved by washes and the valley formed by the Krūčius stream.

The Merkys reserve, which includes the entire valley of the lower reaches of the Merkys river located within the Park as well as the lower reaches of the Skroblus, is valuable not only as an outstanding example of a valley landscape with its distinctive villages of forest Dzūkai and archaeological finds. On the south-facing slopes of the junction of the Merkys and Nemunas, unique communities of steppe meadows remain, while in the flood-meadows corn crakes may be seen and along the rivers one may find the European kingfisher, goosander (Mergus merganser), and otters hunting for their next meal.

Perhaps the most beautiful reserve in the Park is the Ūla reserve, which includes the entire portion of the Ūla river valley located within the Park, with its ethnographic villages of Zervynai, Mančiagirė, Žiūrai, Trakiškiai, and Paūliai, ever-changing outcrops, scenic river-bends, and the distinctive flora and fauna of the spring-fed lower slopes, dry meadows, and slopes.

The Kapiniškiai reserve includes the unique headwaters of the Skroblus stream and its upper reaches with abundant springs, its wide valley with a distinctive structure of land-use by the homesteads belonging to the village of Kapiniškiai, and the ethnographically valuable village of Margionys. Very distinctive communities of plants have formed on alkaline soil in the Skroblus valley, and many protected species of plants and insects are found there. An entirely different landscape is preserved in the Lizdai reserve in the northwestern part of the Park: a picturesque chain of moraine hills with deep thermokarst (kettle) lakes, the Lizdai, Galvinis, and Bedugnis lakes, valuable lakeside bogs, and the Stone Age camp of Ežerynas.

There are also many archaeological sites in the Glynas reserve, which includes Glynas lake, a picturesque lake formed by glacial meltwater in the northern part of the Park, the Glynupis stream, and a complex of five ancient settlements.


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