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ANTHILLS AT VOGEL

There are numerous huge anthills, made by large red wood ants (Formica rufa) from pine needles and bark, among the dwarf pines on the sunny grassy area near the lower Brunarica chairlift station at Vogel.

You can reach them by following a marked trail after a good 10 minute walk from the upper cable car station. Such anthills are spread across different locations at Vogel, but here are the largest number of them in a single spot.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ANTS

Ants are very interesting animals of significant importance for balancing the life in the woods. Giant colonies of these hard-working animals consume an incomprehensible amount of insects, and for this reason they are an important link in the chain for preserving the natural woodland environment.

They also play a key role in other respects:
- as regular consumers of manna, a sweet granular substance excreted on the leaves of plants by certain insects, they take care of leaf lice and thus prove useful for beekeepers;
- by getting rid of dead animals they clean forests;
- by helping to spread seeds they also help in the reproduction of different plant species;
- they, together with their eggs and larvae, are important food for other insects, birds (also large grouse, e.g. capercaillie whose chicks eat only moving food), reptiles and mammals (when bears wake up in the spring they enjoy the high protein and calorie food hidden in the anthills).

WHY VISIT AN ANTHILL?

Anthills themselves are also fascinating constructions and from an architectural point of view are a very effective solution to the problems of the local environment. The shape depends on the individual ant species, as well as on the position of the anthill. Ants regulate the temperature and moisture levels in the anthill by its structure, size and shape, which is why they are flatter in sunny locations, and higher and narrower in the shade.

Take some time to observe these hard-working inhabitants of Vogel. We recommend you are respectful and careful because workers can bite hard when defending their anthills, and they can also spray formic acid from glands at the tip of the abdomen when in danger. The acid is not dangerous to your health, but it stings like a nettle on your skin. If you pay enough attention, you can also learn something new from these tiny creatures. In any event, you will spend an interesting day in an ecologically pristine environment.

SEE ALSO:

Arhaeological Trail
The Vogel Trail
- Lopata Virgin Forest

Vogel bike parkThe Vogel trailCuisine

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