The connection between man and forest is old as the history of the World. People always found shelter, food, firewood and building materials in sufficient amounts in the forest. Forests are also sources of inspiration for artists and a place for recreation for people tired of the city. Forests create oxygen, protect from noise, preserve water supplies, prevent erosions, and the devastation of the ground… Forests are habitat to numerous herbal and animal species, ringworms and mushrooms. In young forests, with thin and densely trees, or in forests where trees are cut down much and the undergrowth is cleansed often, not many animal sorts are living in. Real forest species can live only in old, mature forests, without too much cutting and arranging. On the list of the endangered species, exactly those birds, insects, mushrooms and ringworms are found, who live only in old forests.
Because of the various reliefs, geologic and microclimatic conditions, but also because of the variety of the grounds in the Nature Park Papuk, we find even 10 sorts of forest communities, covering about 96% of the area. The oak and hornbeam forests, dominate over the area up to 350 m above sea level. Above these areas is the beech forest zone. Beech and meals forests grow on the area above 700 m. On the part of the southern, warm slopes of Papuk and Krndija, various sorts of oak forests are growing.
The forests of the Nature Park Papuk, especially the old ones, support the nationally important populations of endangered bird sorts. In the Nature Park Papuk about 18% of the Croatian stock doves (Columba oenas), who are on the list of endangered species are nesting, an 6.6% of the European population of collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis).Both species nest in smaller or bigger
old tree holes. Gold crests (Regulus regulus), fire crests (Regulus ignicapillus) and jays (Nucifraga caryocatactes), along with the woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), nest in beech and meals forests, and represent an isolated community of mountain birds in this part of Croatia.
Bigger mammals habituating on this area are deer (Cervus elaphus), (Capreolus capreolus), wild boars (Sus scrofa), foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and martens (Martes sp.). Smaller mammals living in the forests are dormouse (Glis glis), squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris), field voles (Microtus arvalis), common forest mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and field mice (Apodemus agrarius).
Old forests are the habitat of Lobarrie pulmonary, a rare and endangered species of ringworms, that disappeared from many European forests. The coral erinaceus (Hericium coralloides) and Catnella olivacea are rare sorts of mushrooms, depending on the amount of dead trees in the forest. They were found on Papuk only on the area of the Jankovac forest, and a special section of forest vegetation, Sekulinačka Mountain.