Natural Monument Straza
Natural monument “Straza” is located in Vojvodina, in south-east Banat, near the village Straza. Administratively speaking it falls within the municipality of Vrsac. It is situated on the right side of Karas river bank, along the road Vrsac-Bela Crkva. The total area of the protected natural resource is 67.61 ha. The distance of this natural resource is 19km from Vrsac and 111km from Belgrade.
The primary value of the protected natural resource is the preserved oak forest, ash trees and hornbeam surrounded by the remains of the valley meadows and steppe pastures. The forest has so far preserved the characteristics of original natural lowlands that once dominated this part of the floodplain of the river Karas. The vegetation in this protected natural resource is very lush and diverse due to extremely favorable natural conditions. The floor of trees and shrubs consists of species typical of the oak forests, ash trees, and hornbeam while the ground flora has a lot of interesting, rare and protected species, such as orchids – narrow-leaved helleborine and the White helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia and Cephalanthera alba), Leucojum aestivum, commonly called summer snowflake and others. Outside the forests, on the meadow fields, there is a number of species, among which is the endangered swamp orchid (Orchis laxiflora subsp. Elegans). Thanks to its preserved natural habitats the fauna of this preserved plane is very diverse.
Nevertheless, the European ground squirrel (Citellus citellus) especially stands out. Aside from being an endangered species, it is found on the red list of critically endangered species, the European ground squirrel is very important for the survival of other species, such as, for example, saker falcon (Falco cherrug), whose predominant food is the ground squirrel.
On the right bank of the river Karas, a mill complex was built, whose oldest preserved buildings are dating from the late 19th century. The existing buildings are mostly built after 1925, with the mill in Kikinda, which dates from 1860, it is considered the oldest active cultural monument of the industrial character on the territory of Vojvodina. Within the protected natural resources there is a park, which is primarily intended for rest and recreation of the workers and other visitors. The park is surrounded by a pond and a water stream of river Karas, which aside from visual effect is suitable for creating a highly pleasant microclimate.
Park area complements facilities such as a tool shed, swimmers’ cabin, bowling alley and accompanying facilities for recreational purposes. Consequently, protected natural resource “Straza“, represents a distinctive natural area in Banat, which provides an opportunity for the development of scientific research, tourism, sports and recreational activities.
Respect the nature. Leave everything as it was before you came.