Sweden names 15 Ramsar Sites

09/08/2013

The Swedish Naturvårdsverket has designated 15 new Wetlands of International Importance, most of them characterized by forested and non-forested peatlands, shrub-dominated wetlands, permanent freshwater lakes, marshes, pools, rivers and streams representative of the Alpine and Boreal regions. All but one of them are also Nature Reserves and Natura 2000 sites with management plans and some restrictions on use, and the remaining one, Mannavuoma in the far north, is described as virtually inaccessible, “resulting in a natural protection”. All of the new sites are important for biodiversity, especially for migratory species of birds, and their peatlands are considered to be extremely important for carbon sequestration.

Sweden presently has 66 Ramsar Sites, the 4th highest national total (after the UK, Mexico, and Spain), covering an area of 651,683 hectares. These Ramsar Site summaries have been prepared for the Annotated Ramsar List by Assistant Advisor for Europe Laura Máiz-Tomé, based on the Ramsar Information Sheets (RISs) that accompanied the designations.

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Blaikfjället. 31/01/2013; Västerbotten; 43,611 ha; 64°35'N 016°07'E. Nature Reserves, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Blaikfjället is a vast high plateau east of the Fennoscandian mountain range. The site covers a large unexploited mire complex area of international importance for maintaining the biological diversity of pristine mire and taiga ecosystems in the EU Alpine and Boreal regions. It contains forested and non-forest peatlands, permanent rivers and streams which are very important breeding and moulting area for many bird species included in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, such as Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus, Red-throated diver Gavia stellata, Crane Grus grus, Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus, Ruff Philomachus pugnax and Golden plover Pluvialis apricaria. Moreover, a large number of nationally red-listed species connected to the untamed forest, such as wood-living bryophytes, fungi and lichens have stable populations within the site, among them Amylocystis lapponica and Skeletocutis odora. The peatland areas are important for carbon sequestration. Traditional activities within the site are reindeer farming and former hay harvesting in the mires. Currently the site is mainly dedicated to nature conservation, recreation, fishing, hunting and research. Management plans exist for the two nature reserves and the Natura 2000 site. Due to its pristine and high ecological value the site has been proposed to become a National Park. Ramsar Site no. 2167. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Getapulien-Grönbo. 31/01/2013. Örebro; 3,229 ha; 59º40'N 015º47'E. Nature Reserves, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). One of the largest mire complexes in south central Sweden characterized by minimal anthropogenic influence. There are two Nature Reserves within the site Grönbo (491 ha) and Getapulien (995 ha) containing high representative examples of natural or near-natural wetland types within the European Boreal region such as forested and non-forested peatlands, bogs and lakes. The site supports threatened ecological communities of birds, insects and mammals according to the National Red List Catalogue and the EU Bird and Habitat Directives. More than 20 bird species dependent on wetland habitats and important for maintaining the biological diversity within the Boreal Region regularly breed in the site. Lynx (Lynx lynx) and Wolf (Canis lupus) can also be found. The peatlands store and sequestrate carbon and serve as water reservoirs during the summer. Land use is mainly dedicated to moose hunting, recreation, tourism and nature conservation. There is a wildlife research station in Grimsö which carries out fauna and flora monitoring activities. Former threats affecting the ecological character of the site were unsustainable forestry practices such as drainage that altered wetlands' natural hydrological cycle. As a result of the forestry prohibitions in the protected areas, vegetational succession of mature forest will increase significantly in coming years. Management plans exist for the two Nature Reserves. Ramsar Site no. 2168. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Getapulien-Grönbo (Photo: Kjell Store)

Gullhög-Tönningfloarna. 31/01/2013; Jämtland; 1,883 ha; 62°12'N 014°09'E. Natura 2000. A large intact hydrological mire complex characterized fens, bogs, lakes, peatlands, ponds and wet forests. The mires are ecologically complex and extremely well developed. The site supports populations of mire plant and animal species important for the maintenance of the biological diversity of the Boreal region. The birdlife is very abundant and the ornithological values high. Vulnerable bird species such as ruff Philomachus pugnax and curlew Numenius arquata breed on the site. Moreover, endangered wetland dependent vegetal communities such as Carex heleonastes can also be found. The site is an important water reservoir and plays a vital role in groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The main human activities within the area are moose hunting, forestry, fishing, berry-picking and birdwatching. Potential threats to the ecological character of the site are forestry and peat mining plans. The County Administrative Board of Jämtland has elaborated a proposal for the establishment of a nature reserve within the site. Ramsar Site no. 2169. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Gustavsmurarna-Tröskens rikkärr. 31/01/2013; Gävleborg; 653 ha; 60°37'N 017°19'E. There are four Nature Reserves within the Ramsar Site: Gustavsmurarna, Brännan, Långhällskogen and Tröskens rikkärr, and large parts of the area have also been included in the Natura 2000 network. The site contains representative wetland types within the EU boreal region including forested and non-forested peatlands, permanent freshwater lakes and springs. The site supports many nationally red-listed species including populations of bog-orchid Microstylis monophylla and fen orchid Liparis loeselii. Some rare beetles such as Chlaenius sulcicollis and Chlaenius quadrisulcatus can also be found. The site is an important breeding area for vulnerable bird species such as Crane Grus grus, Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, Bittern Botaurus stellaris and Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus. The ecosystem services provided by the wetland are sediment trapping, water purification, and carbon storage. The site is mainly used for nature conservation, including research and monitoring, but hunting and outdoor activities are also permitted. Former land use characterized by intensive forestry, grazing and haymaking practices reduced the bush and tree vegetation, but since the declaration of the nature reserves and the implementation of the new regulations there are signs of increasing reed vegetation in open fens. Ramsar Site no. 2170. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Gustavsmurarna-Tröskens rikkärr (Photo: Peter Ståhl)

Koppången. 31/01/2013; Dalarna; 4,936 ha; 61°21'N 014°47'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI). A large mire complex area with small lakes, peatlands and Fennoscandian forests of spruce Picea abies characteristic of the EU Boreal region. The mires support nationally red-listed species of birds such as Crane Grus grus, Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, and Ruff Philomachus pugnax. Moreover, the site is particularly rich in bryothites, lichens and fungi. More than 23 Sphagnum species have been registered in the area. Among the most representative mammals of the site are Wolverine Gulo gulo, Lynx Lynx lynx and Brown bear Ursus arctos. The peatlands store and sequestrate carbon contributing to global climate regulation. The site is used mainly during winter for skiing and sled dog travelling, and traditionally it has been used for harvesting fodder for livestock. Two management plans have been implemented, for the Natura 2000 area and for the Nature Reserve, including provisions against forestry, drainage, building and road constructions. Ramsar Site no. 2171. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Mannavuoma. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 705 ha; 68°28'N 022°20'E. The site is characterized by tundra wetlands and palsa mires, forested and non-forested peatlands, permanent rivers, marshes and pools, all representative examples of natural wetland types in the northern part of the EU Boreal region. The site supports bird species included in Annex I of the EU Bird Directive such as Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus and Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria. The well-developed bog areas contribute to carbon sequestration. Land use is dedicated to reindeer grazing. No threats to the site's ecological character have been identified. The site is situated in a part of the country almost inaccessible with large areas surrounded by water resulting in a natural protection. Ramsar Site no. 2172. Most recent RIS: 2013.

Mellanljusnan. 31/01.2013; Gävleborg; 1,136 ha; 61°48'N 015°53'E; Natura 2000 (SAC, SPA); Nature Reserve; Nature Management Area. The site is formed by the Fennoscandian river Ljusnan, characterized by rapids and streams, mixed with slow meandering waters. In the lower part of the site, the river flows through a broad valley with farmland areas surrounded by forests and hills. The middle and upper parts of the site are dominated by dry pine forests on sandy glacial deposits. The landscape has been shaped by the river which has eroded 40 meter deep bedrock of glacial delta sediments. The vegetation includes several national red-listed aquatic plants such as Carex heleonaste and Elatine orthosperma. The site is an important spawning and feeding ground for several fish species such as brown trout Salmo trutta, grayling Thymallus thymallus and bullhead Cottus gobio, which are very good bioindicators of the high water quality in the EU Boreal region. Moreover, the site supports populations of other nationally red-listed species including freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera and otter Lutra lutra, and it plays an important role in water purification and flood regulation. There are no hydroelectric power stations within the site but the water regime is slightly affected by dams situated in the surrounding area. Land use is dedicated to forestry, fishing and tourism. Several archaeological and historical features are present within the site. Ramsar Site no. 2173. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Mellanljusnan (Photo: Helena Persson)

Mellerstön. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 290 ha; 65º12'N 021º51'E; Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SCI). Situated in the Piteå archipelago, the site consists of two connected islands and the shallow marine water between them. The site is a representative example of a natural wetland complex archipelago in the Baltic Sea within the EU Boreal region, characterized by rocky shores, coastal saline lagoons, intertidal marshes and a mosaic of mires and deciduous forests. The shallow marine areas, mud flats and sand banks are very important feeding, staging and breeding grounds for water birds. The site supports nationally-threatened species including Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres and Curlew Numenius arquata. Endemic flora subspecies of Artemisia campestris are also present. The site is part of a nature reserve and has local importance for different tourism and recreational activities. The chief land use is dedicated to nature conservation. There are no major threats to the ecological character of the site. Ramsar Site no. 1974. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Mellerstön (Photo: Länsstyrelsen i Norrbottens län)

Nittälven. 31/01/2013; Dalarna, Örebro; 1,932 ha; 59º55'N 014º48'E. Six Nature Reserves as part of the Natura 2000 network (SPA, SAC). River Nittälven and its delta is one of the most natural catchment areas in Örebro county; the site is a coherent river system representative of the EU Boreal region characterized by large streams, small creeks mixed with freshwater tree-dominated areas, and small ponds. Situated in a transition zone between northern and southern mire types, the site is an important area for breeding of different populations of birds, fish and mammal species red-listed nationally and internationally. The site supports endangered bryophytes and lichens such as Ramalina thrausta, important for the maintenance of the biological diversity of the region. The peatland areas are an important carbon sink. Nittälven is very popular among outdoor and wilderness enthusiasts, and the main human activities are moose-hunting, angling, canoeing and hiking. The howling of the local wolf pack is one of the main attractions. Potential threats to the ecological character of the site are unsustainable forestry practices, such as drainage, and excessive use of fertilizers. Management plans have been implemented in the Nature Reserves, and inventories covering forest habitats, birds, flora and wood fungi have also been carried out. Ramsar Site no. 2175. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Päivävuoma. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 2,759 ha; 66°37'54"N 021°14'59"E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Two well-developed large mixed mires with string and large wet flarks between them. The site is characterized by forested and non-forested peatlands, shrub-dominated wetlands, permanent freshwater lakes marshes, pools, rivers and streams. The site supports a rich avifauna important for maintaining the biological diversity of the EU Boreal region. A bird census performed by the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten resulted in 55 observed species, some of them red-listed or included in the Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, such as Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Black-throated diver Gavia arctica, and Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea. The peatlands of the site are important for carbon sequestration. Land use is dedicated to reindeer farming and hay production. Forestry activities and water drainage in the adjacent areas could be potential threats to the site's ecological character. Ramsar Site No. 2176. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Päivävuoma (Photo: Frédéric Forsmark)

Pirttimysvuoma. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 2,587 ha; 68º16'N 020º44'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 site (SCI). A large, unexploited wetland complex characterized by open mires, tundra wetlands, forested peatlands, shrub-dominated wetlands, permanent freshwater marshes and pools, rivers and streams. The site has an interesting bryophyte flora with about 75 species representative for the Scandinavian part of the EU Alpine region. The mixed palsas (frost heaves) with the surrounding fens and open waters create a landscape mosaic harbouring a rich birdlife and supporting nationally red-listed species such as Ruff Philomachus pugnax. The mires and bogs play a significant role as a carbon sink. The area is frequently used for reindeer grazing. The site's ecological character can be disturbed by off-road vehicles, especially when there is no snow cover. Forestry activities are regulated through the nature reserve management plan, and drainage is forbidden. Ramsar Site no. 2177. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Rappomyran. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 3,031 ha; 66º22'N 020º57'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SCI/SPA). The site is characterized by non-forested peatlands, shrub-dominated wetlands, permanent freshwater lakes, marshes, pools, rivers and streams supporting nationally red-listed species including Jelly lichen Collema curtisporum, Hudson Bay sedge Carex heleonastes, Otter Lutra lutra and Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata. Moreover, the site regularly supports significant numbers of birds during the breeding and migration periods important for maintaining the biological diversity of the Boreal region. Among them some are species listed in Annex I of the EU Bird Directive such as Crane Grus grus, Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola, Black-throated diver Gavia arctica and Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea. The peatland areas play a significant role in carbon sequestration. The land is mainly dedicated to reindeer farming, and there are no important recreation or tourist activities in the area. Conservation and management plans have been implemented for the nature reserve and the Natura 2000 site, including provisions against forestry, drainage, building and road construction. Ramsar Site no. 2178. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Rappomyran (Photo: Länsstyrelsen i Norrbottens län)

Vasikkavuoma. 31/01/2013; Norrbotten; 200 ha; 67º13'N 023º12'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SCI). The site contains a representative example of natural wetland types in the EU boreal region such as open mires, permanent freshwater marshes and pools, rivers and streams. It supports important populations of plant and waterbird species on a regular basis and also during the breeding and migration seasons. Moreover, the site supports bird species important for maintaining the biological diversity of the region which are nationally red-listed and/or included in the Annex I of the EU Bird Directive such as Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata, Crane Grus grus, Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola and Marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus. The mires are important carbon sinks. Traditional mowing activities take place on a regular basis, and the site is also used by tourists and birdwatchers. The mire has been subjected to restorations through clearing and mowing. A potential threat to the site's ecological character is overgrowing if the mowing activities should stop. Management plans for the Natura 2000 site and the Nature Reserve have been implemented. Ramsar Site no. 2179. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Vasikkavuoma (Photo: Länsstyrelsen i Norrbottens län)

Vattenån. 31/01/2013; Västernorrland, Jämtland; 3,661 ha; 62°34'N 015°25'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000. The site is formed by river Vattenån in the East and most of its upstream tributaries in the West, including more than 20 freshwater lakes, along with small mires, streams and some wet forests adjacent to the river system. River Vattenån is very rich in limnic values and supports one of the largest European populations of freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera outside the Russian Federation. The lakes and streams are important spawning grounds for stable populations of trout Salmo trutta, necessary for the life-cycle of the freshwater pearl mussel. Nationally red-listed species such as Otter Lutra lutra and wolf Canus lupus are also present. There is a monitoring programme which includes investigations on pearl mussels and limnic invertebrate fauna. Former timber activities, pearl fishing, rotetone insecticide use and the introduction of exotic species of pike and char in some of the lakes have reduced the populations of trout and mussels in the catchment area. The site is remote, but quite popular among locals as a recreational area for fishing and hiking. There are also five cottages open for public use as well as marked trails and information boards. Land use is mainly dedicated to nature conservation. Ramsar Site no. 2180. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Vattenån (Photo: Oskar Norrgrann)

Vindelälven. 31/01/2013; Västerbotten; 66,395 ha; 05°38'N 017°27'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Vindelälven is one of four large Swedish protected national rivers free of hydropower dams along its entire 450 km length. The site is a representative example of a natural permanent river including freshwater lakes, plus all the large and small tributaries of the catchment basin and an inland delta influenced by regular seasonal fluctuations of water levels as a direct consequence of the snow melting cycle of the Alpine region. The river is characterized by its high biodiversity. Red-listed species such as Otter Lutra lutra and freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera regularly use the site. Due to the lack of hydropower dams there are very good conditions for migration of fish species such as Baltic salmon Salmo salar, Brown trout Salmo trutta, and European grayling Thymallus thymallus. Situated in the flyway from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the Alpine region, the inland delta in Ammarnäs is of international importance for many migratory waterbirds, and the nationally endangered Lesser white-fronted goose Anser erythropus has been observed there. The river is a very important freshwater source and contributes to sediment trapping in the slow-flowing parts and water purification in the adjacent areas. There are several small towns and villages along the river, and the main human activities are recreation, fishing, hunting and nature conservation. Potential threats are the impacts of a downstream dam which acts as a barrier for fish migration. Ramsar Site no. 2181. Most recent RIS information: 2013.



Vindelälven (Photo: Andreas Garpebring)

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