This paper presents the results of a research project concerning bark beetle populations in Norway spruce stands managed under a nature protection regime in national parks in Tatra Mountains in Poland and Slovakia. The preliminary data on bark beetle occurrence and related selected stand characteristics are presented. The dynamics of a bark beetle outbreak that occurred from 1994–97 in the stands localized on both sides of the state border and in various nature protection regimes is analyzed retrospectively. The data concerning the tree/stand characteristics, i.e. DBH and increment of trees are discussed in relation to its potential role in the mechanism for the spread of bark beetle populations. The patterns of the spatial distribution of trees attacked during the research period (1999–2001) are described.