Pirtó Sand Dunes
Legal declaration by Decree No. 12/2012. VM
Biogeographic region: Sand Ridge
The sand dune range located between Kiskunhalas and Pirtó is home to nationally and internationally recognized protected habitats, namely Pannonian sand steppes and Juniper-Poplar groves, and species of community importance in the European Union, such as Colchicum arenarium. This species occurs only in the Carpathian Basin; it blooms in autumn and produces seeds only in the following spring. Other endemic species of calcareous sand steppes include Tragopogon floccosus, Sedum urvillei subsp. hillebrandtii, Centaurea arenaria and Festuca wagneri. Some other strictly protected species (e.g. Sea Grape, Astragalus dasyanthus and Epipactis dasyanthus) and protected species (e.g. Dianthus serotinus, Gypsophila arenaria, Corispermum canescens and Corispermum nitidus) are also abundant in the steppes, while the rare Snowdrop Anemone and the Red Helleborine prefer the partly shady environment in poplar groves. The diverse fauna of the reserve also contains some strictly protected species of community importance (e.g. Carabus hungaricus) and other protected species such as the antlion Acanthaclisis occitanica, and the locusts Acrida hungarica (endemic to the Carpathian Basin) and Calliptamus barbarus. Despite the appalling Hungarian name of the latter (’barbarian locust”), it is a rather decorative insect. European Bee-eaters are widespread in the reserve, just like European Rollers, which nest in the holes of poplar trees. A 23-ha part of the reserve is strictly protected, as it harbours exceptional natural values. Entering this part is allowed only with official permission issued by the Nature Conservation Agency.