Four new Ramsar Sites for Belarus
The government of Belarus has designated four new Wetlands of International Importance, totaling an area of more than 100,000 hectares, for the Ramsar List. The Convention’s Assistant Advisor for Europe, Ms Laura Máiz-Tomé, has prepared these summary descriptions of the new Sites, based on the Ramsar Information Sheets received with the designation documents, for the Annotated Ramsar List:
Duleby Islands-Zaozerye. 07/09/2012; Mogilev Region; 30,772 ha; 53°40’00”N 029°30’00”E. Important Bird Area, Hydrological Reserves, Protected Landscape, Habitat/Species Management Area. Mire complex with prevalence of boreal Sphagnum ridge-hollow bogs, pine swamp forests, and fens. The forests and mire areas provide favourable conditions for the conservation of a considerable number of birds and mammals, as well as national red-listed plant communities. Moreover, the wetland plays an important role in water purification and supply for the rivers of the Dnieper basin and recharges the underground hydrological systems. The main land uses within the site are agricultural production, forestry, mowing and recreation (gathering of berries, mushrooms, and herbal and medicinal plants). The main factors affecting the ecological character of the site are logging, poaching, pollution, eutrophication and radioactive contamination as a result of the transfer of radioactive elements after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. Ramsar Site no. 2138. Most recent RIS Information: 2013.
Morochno. 07/09/2012; Brest Region; 5,845 ha; 51°51’36”N 026°37’53”E. Biological Reserve of Local Importance, Important Bird Area, Protected Landscape, Habitat/Species Management Area. A cross-border Belorusian-Ukrainian complex mire system, located near the major floodplain of river Horyn, with a predominance of Belarusian Polesie ridge-hollow sphagnum bogs. The site is an important ecological corridor for many nationally threatened and endangered species. The wetland plays an important role in the maintenance of water quality in the region; moreover, during the dry season it stores water and sustains the underground hydrological systems. Land uses within the site are forestry, logging, hunting and recreation (collection of berries, mushrooms and herbs and medicinal plants). The main factors affecting the ecological character of the site are land reclamation and drainage, fires, poaching and peat extraction. Ramsar Site no. 2139. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Stary Zhaden. 07/09/2012; Gomel Region; 17,048 ha; 51°53’01”N 027°35’52”E. Important Bird Area, Protected area with Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. A Belarusian Polesie complex wetland system, formed by fens combined with sphagnum transitional mires of boreal type and sphagnum bogs. The site is characterized by a diversity of geomorphological conditions and relatively high biodiversity. It plays an important hydrological role in water purification, maintenance of groundwater levels and water supply during the dry season. Land uses include forestry, farming, recreation and hunting. The main factors threatening the ecological character of the wetland are logging, fires, drainage, poaching, recreational disturbances caused by mass collection of berries and mushrooms, and significant radioactive contamination caused by the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Ramsar Site no. 2140. Most recent RIS information: 2013.
Vigonoshchanskoe. 16/01/2013; Brest Region; 54,182 ha; 52°42’N 25°40’E. National Landscape Reserve; Important Bird Area; Habitat/Species Management Area. A large forest-wetland complex situated at the watershed of river basins of the Black and Baltic seas. This area, slightly transformed by economic and recreational activities, is of great importance for the conservation of plant and animal species as well as for the protection of the whole natural complex of Belarusian Polesie. There are two large lakes on the territory as well as rivers, canals, floodplains and open marsh areas, including waterlogged forests, fens, transitional and raised bogs. The core of the Site is Lake Vygonoshchanskoe. The site plays a key role in maintaining the hydrological regime in the region and feeding the River Shchara, one of the River Neman’s largest tributaries. Moreover, the wetland regulates regional climate by mitigating fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Traditional human activities within the site are fishing, hunting, and berry and mushroom collection. A network of monitoring plots has been created, where research studies have been carried out within the national integrated monitoring system for ecosystems in the protected areas. Ramsar Site no. 2141. Most recent RIS information: 2013.