In an area disturbed by long-term extraction of ores of non-ferrous metals as well as by their preparation and processing, unexplained effects of heavy metals (Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd) of different soil concentrations and various degrees of vegetation cover on the species diversity and abundance of ground beetles habitat specialists and generalists in heavily changed forest ecosystems were monitored so far. We found that in environments characterized by extreme concentrations of heavy metals some forest specialists may prefer poorly wooded sites to fully wooded sites in an effort to avoid contaminated environment. Nevertheless, the majority of species remain good site indicators even under these conditions. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that all monitored variables had more or less significant effects on the spatial activity of ground beetles at the species level. Vegetation cover differentiating the species spectrum into forest and open habitat specialists proved to be a decisive factor. The analysis also revealed that forest specialists and generalists were, in addition to cover, associated with Mn concentrations and, on the contrary, responded negatively to the presence of Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn and high pH values. Open-habitat specialists were associated reversely.