The Annotated Ramsar List: Lithuania


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Lithuania on 20 December 1993. Lithuania presently has 7 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 65,373 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Adutiskis-Svyla-Birveta wetland complex (Adutiškio-Svylos-Birvetos šlapžemiu kompleksas). 15/11/11; Utena, Vilnius; 6,881 ha; 55°15'15"N 26°41'28"E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 SPA. The largest part of the site consists of wet forests dominated by aspen, birch, black alder and spruce stands, of which about 30% grows on peat land. The site also includes a system of fishponds (800 ha), open areas of raised bogs, several rivers and their floodplains, a network of drainage canals, a number of temporal oxbow lakes, and two clay-pits. Five of the site's habitat types as well as several rare plant and animal species are listed under the EU Habitats Directive. More than 500 species of higher vascular plants have been identified and birds of more than 150 species have been recorded, including some 50 species that are protected in Lithuania. The site hosts more than 1% of the population of White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons (10,000) and of the Taiga Bean Goose subspecies Anser fabalis fabalis (1,100). It is one of the key staging grounds for migratory water birds in eastern Lithuania, and the site, particularly its raised bogs, is important for groundwater recharge, aquaculture (mainly carp) and commercial timber production. It is threatened by drainage activities, large-scale fires, clear-cutting of old growth forest, and unsustainable agricultural uses. Ramsar Site number: 1992. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Cepkeliai mire (Cepkeliu raistas). 04/10/93; Alytus; 11,227 ha; 54°N 024°30’E. Transboundary Ramsar Site with Kotra (Belarus), Strict Nature Reserve and Natura 2000 site. The Cepkeliai swamp (5,858 ha), also known as the Cepkeliai wetland, and the Pastalike swamp (966 ha) form the largest wetland in Lithuania. Upland bog covers more than half of the wetland territory. The wetland is surrounded by lowland bogs, wooded continental dunes, a sandy plain, and the Katra River valley. The upland bog is a habitat for species typical of the northern regions of Lithuania while the sands surrounding the upland bog are home to species typical of southern Lithuania. This gives the site special significance as a reservoir of species biodiversity. There is a visitor centre and an educational nature trail and tourism activity is limited to 2,000 – 3,000 visitors per year. The site is threatened by natural succession due to rapidly declining agricultural activities in the surrounding territories which results in increased forest coverage. A management plan was prepared in 2004 and is currently being implemented. Ramsar Site No. 625. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Girutiskis bog (Girutiškio pelke). 15/11/11; Vilnius; 1,402 ha; 55°11'52"N 25°51'21"E. Strict Nature Reserve, Regional Park, Natura 2000. A complex of raised bogs, rich fens and transitional mires with acidic and oxygen-poor lakes and surrounding pine forests interspersed with spruce and birch trees. Numerous habitat types as well as plant and animal species (mammals, fish, insects, amphibians, and molluscs) are listed under the EU Habitats Directive and protected nationally, and a large number of breeding and non-breeding bird species protected in Europe and Lithuania occur within the site. The site is important as a source of groundwater and the swamp has a significant replenishing function. Peat accumulation in bogs also facilitates the binding of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The site is being used for research, environmental education and limited educational tourism; there is a visitor centre and an exposition at the Labanoras Regional Park directorate. Habitat overgrowth with bushes and trees, and invasive species, pose the main problems. An approved nature management plan exists. Ramsar Site number: 1993. Most recent RIS information: 2011

Kamanos bog. 04/10/93; Siauliai; 6,401 ha (extended in 2010 from 5,195 ha); 56°17'N 022°39'E. Managed Nature Reserve, Strict Nature Reserve, Natura 2000. Set in a region of intense farming, the largest raised bog in Lithuania includes ridge-pool complexes, numerous small lakes, pools, transitional mires, and black alder swamps. Bogmoss pine forests and open, unforested Sphagnum communities predominate. The site is of national importance for its high species diversity and concentrations of rare and endangered animal and plant species. Human activities include conservation education, research, and limited tourism. The main threats in the catchment are caused by air pollution from a neighbouring oil refinery and two construction material factories. Forestry negatively affects the forest habitats in the buffer zone of the strict nature reserve. A management plan has been approved by the Ministry of Environment in 2006. Ramsar Site no. 626. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Nemunas delta (Nemuno delta). 04/10/93; Klaipeda; 28,952 ha (was extended by 5,002 ha in 2010); 55°18’N 021°20’E. Managed Nature Reserve, Regional Park, Natura 2000. A river delta of marshes, raised bogs, ridge-pool complexes, flooded forests and meadows. The site supports a rich plant community with numerous endangered species. Located on the East Atlantic flyway, it is an internationally important breeding, wintering and passage site for thousands of waterbirds and migratory birds, many of which are threatened species. Over 60 thousand migratory birds are ringed annually at the site. The park is divided into zones with different priorities such as conservation, ecological protection, recreational, economic and residential. Human activities include conservation education, hay production, dairy farming, fishing, hunting, peat production, recreation, and tourism. An information centre is located on Rusne island. The site is visited by some 100,000 visitors per year. A management plan is being implemented. Ramsar Site no. 629. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Viesvilé (Viešvile). 04/10/93; Taurage; 3,218 ha; 55º09’N 022º27’E. Strict Nature Reserve, Natura 2000, pSCI. Undisturbed representative complex of bogs, swamps and mires in the upper reaches of Viesvile rivulet surrounded by dry coniferous forests on a sandy plane with continental dunes. Dominate wetland types include forested and non-forested peatlands and freshwater tree dominated wetlands. The site holds a number of habitats as well as plant and animal species of European and national concern, including those dependent on natural hydrological regime. It is an important breeding area for Golden Plovers and other threatened waterbird species. Swamps play significant role in replenishing resources of clean ground water. At present the area is used for scientific research and monitoring, ecological education and restricted sightseeing tourism; there is a nature trail to raised bog. Present threats include dry summers and overgrowing of open bogs and fens, lack of natural disturbances caused by fires, presence of alien species (Racoon Dog), illegal fishing and hunting, as well as (on surrounding areas) forest cuttings and declining of grazing and haymaking. Ramsar Site no. 627. Most recent RIS information: 2010.

Zuvintas. 04/10/93; Alytus; 7,500 ha; 54º28’N 023º35’E. Strict Nature Reserve. An overgrown nutrient-rich lake surrounded by reed swamps, sedge fens, raised bogs, and bogmoss pine forests. The lake and its surroundings are important breeding (20-30 pairs of Cygnus olor) and passage areas for numerous species of waterbirds and other birds. The diversity of habitats support numerous species of rare and threatened plants and animals and exhibit a high species diversity of both flora and fauna. Human activities include conservation education, a bird-ringing programme, and research. Ramsar site no. 628. Most recent RIS information: ?.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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