The Annotated Ramsar List: Poland


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Poland on 22 March 1978. Poland presently has 13 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 145,075 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

Biebrzanaki National Park (Biebrzanski Park Narodowy. 27/10/95; Podlaskie; 59,233 ha; 53º28’N 022º57’E. National Park, Natura 2000, BirdLife IBA. The largest and most well-preserved area of low bogs and forest raised bogs in the temperate biogeographical zone. Habitats include various types of swamps, tussock communities, alder forest, and some cultivated land. The site supports an exceptional variety of birds, mammals, fish, and plants, several of which are rare, endangered or endemic. Over 80% of the entire Polish fauna of breeding birds use the site, including the largest European population of Acrocephalus paludicola. Human activities include agriculture, tourism, and recreation. Nearly 2,000 archaeological sites, mostly ancient settlements, can be found. Water management is of particular importance in maintaining the natural environment within the valley. The site is considered a model of traditional wetland management techniques. Ramsar site no. 756. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Druzno Lake Nature Reserve. 29/10/02; Warminsko-Mazurskie; 3,068 ha; 54º05'N 019º26'E. Natura 2000 SPA, Nature Reserve. A shallow and largely overgrown lake in the Vistula Delta region near the Baltic Coast, with surrounding wetlands, reedbeds, and swampy alder forests which are a relict of a much larger water body formerly part of the Vistula Lagoon. The most widespread aquatic vegetation is represented through floating communities of different associations of water lilies. The site is important for birds migrating along the Baltic coastline and provides refuge for more than 150 bird species during the summer. The region owes its origins to human draining and damming activities. In several settlements typical old Dutch buildings have been preserved and religious memorials such as 18th-century Mennonite cemeteries, pumping stations, sluices from the 19th century and inclines on the Elblag Canal are industrial monuments of European significance. While the lake was formerly used as a water route for rafting timber, it is now appreciated mainly for tourist cruising and recreational activities. Ramsar site no. 1563. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Karas Lake Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody "Jezioro Karas").03/01/84; Warminsko-Mazurskie; 815 ha; 53º33’N 019º29’E. Nature Reserve. A large, shallow freshwater lake of glacial origin, surrounded by forest, extensive peatbogs, marshes and drainage ditches. The site exhibits a rich floral diversity. The lake is important for breeding, nesting or staging various species of wetland birds, including ducks and swans. Human activities at the site and in the surrounding area include commercial fishing, forestry, and agriculture. Ramsar site no. 284. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Lake of Seven Islands Nature Reserve (Rezerwat pyzyrody "Jezioro Siedmiu Wysp"). 03/01/84; Warminsko-Mazurskie; 1,618 ha; 54º18’N 021º35’E. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000, BirdLife IBA. The site, located on the border with the Kaliningrad region of Russia, includes a freshwater lake colonized by submerged vegetation and overgrown by reedbeds, associated marshland, meadows, woodland and moraine islands. An important inland staging site for migratory waterbirds, including geese and ducks, the site supports several species of breeding birds and rare mammals. Two northern tree species reach the southern limit of their distribution here. Human activities include forestry, as well as intensive agriculture in the surrounding areas. Threats to the site include urban and domestic effluent, nutrient-rich agricultural inflow, and vegetation encroachment into the marsh. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1989. Significantly extended in 2007. Removed from Montreux Record, 5 November 2007. Ramsar site no. 285. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Luknajno Lake Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody "Jezioro Luknajno"). 22/11/77; Warminsko-Mazurskie; 1,189 ha; 53º49'N 021º38'E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; Natura 2000; BirdLife IBA. A freshwater lake of glacial origin, fed by numerous channels, surrounded by marshes and meadows and fringed by reedbeds. Important numbers of non-breeding swans Cygnus olor feed on submerged flora; up to 2,300 occur during migration periods and use the site during molt. An important site for various species of breeding waterbirds and large numbers of passage birds, and a feeding area for several raptor species. Several nationally rare plants occur. Human activities include extensive commercial fishing and regulated tourism. Boundaries extended in 2007. Ramsar site no. 166. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Milicz Fishponds Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody "Stawy Milickie").27/10/95; 5,324 ha; 51º34’N 017º20’E. Nature Reserve. Various fishpond complexes in the Barycz River valley surrounded by forests, meadows, pastures, and fields. The area provides important habitat for waterbirds, supporting up to 14,000 geese and 30,000 ducks in spring and autumn. High concentrations of various species of waterbirds nest in the area, and Haliaetus albicilla and Ciconia nigra feed at the site. A number of important Stone Age and medieval archaeological sites can be found. Fish breeding, angling, and tourism are the chief human uses. Ramsar site no. 758. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Narew River National Park.29/10/02; Podlaski; 7,350 ha; 53°04'N 022°52'E. National Park. A 35-km section of a natural swampy valley with a well-developed system of bends, oxbows and highly sinuous riverbed breaking through moraine hills. Depending on water table, several vegetation zones from aquatic, immersed with mosses and sedges to softwoods with xeric vegetation can be distinguished. That includes about 30 associations of reed bed and aquatic plants, such as communities of water lilies, whirled water milfoil and common frogbit, besides meadow and xeric as well as willow shrubs and forest communities. Traditionally the meadows were used for cattle grazing and haymaking, but recent social and economic transformations led to a cessation of mowing and grazing management, causing a shrinking of open biotopes and a decrease of local biodiversity. The main potential threat is a diminished water input upstream in view of the Siemianowka dam at the Belarus-Polish border and the water pollution caused from towns upstream. A local historical mansion hosts both a visitor centre and the museum of the Narew river swamps, and there are tourist trails, two observation hides, and an educational path. Ramsar site no. 1564. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Poleski National Park.29/10/02; Lubelskie; 9,762 ha; 51°17'N 023°27'E. National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, NATURA 2000 SPA. A unique complex of shallow lakes and mires, ranging from raised bogs to transitional and calcareous mires and rare alkaline fens with vegetation indicating some features of tundra and woodland tundra in its most westernmost location, situated at the watershed between the basins of the Bug and Wieprz rivers in southeastern Poland bordering with Ukraine and part of the European Ecological Corridor of the Bug River. Forest communities vary from pine woods to alder swamps with a typical hollow-and-mound structure. The site supports a wide range of about 146 breeding bird species including very rare raptors such as Lesser Spotted Eagle, Hen Harrier and Montagu's Harrier. The only sparsely populated area, which hosts a rich cultural heritage of traditional wooden cottages, is used for extensive agriculture, fishing and forestry. Agricultural facilities in the surrounding area are affecting the site through water pollution. Since 2002 the National Park is also forms the core zone of the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve, and it is planned to be identified as a transboundary Polish-Ukrainian Ramsar site in the future. Ramsar site no. 1565. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Slowinski National Park (Slowinski Park Narodowy).27/10/95; Pomorskie; 32,744 ha; 54º43'N 017º18'E. National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Natura 2000 site. The site consists of a belt of mobile dunes, coastal brackish lakes, peatbogs, marshes, and forests. An important resting site for migrating waterbirds, high concentrations of Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans), and various species of waders pass through. Several species of waterbirds, and the sea eagle Haliaetus albicilla, nest at the site. Cattle grazing, haymaking, and tourism are the chief human uses. Potential threats come from river pollution, peat mining, and recreational pressure. Ramsar site no. 757. Boundaries significantly extended in 2007. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Subalpine peatbogs in Karkonosze Mountains. 29/10/02; Dolnoslaskie; 40 ha; 50°45'N 015°36'E. National Park, UNESCO Bilateral Biosphere Reserve. Three subalpine bogs situated on mountain flats in the dwarf pine zone, along the Polish-Czech border in the Karkonosze Mountains. Situated at the European watershed dividing the Baltic Sea and North Sea basins, the area has special importance for groundwater recharge and flood control in the mountains. The vegetation is dominated of endemic dwarf pine communities with cloudberry vegetation and surrounded with spruce forest growing on hanging bogs. Most typical of the site are bog moss communities including associations resembling subarctic tundra with a combination of alpine and arctic species and association of alpine tufted common bog. Numerous hummocks and permanent pools that support a unique flora of algae form the rich relief of the area. The major threat for the bogs is trampling, littering and water pollution from tourist and recreation activities in the area. Since 1992 the site has been part of a MAB Bilateral Biosphere Reserve, and discussions are under way with Czech authorities of the Krkonoská raseliniste Ramsar site about management collaboration as a transboundary Ramsar site. Ramsar site no. 1566. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

Swidwie Lake Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody "Jezioro Swidwie").03/01/84; Zachodnio-Pomorskie; 891 ha; 53º33'N 014º22'E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 site. An nutrient-rich freshwater lake near the German border. Dominated by reed and sedge beds, vegetation includes Alnus carr and Salix scrub. The site is important for various species of breeding waterbirds, for roosting and molting Grus grus, and for staging or roosting up to 10,000 geese. It is also one of Poland's richest Stone Age archaeological sites. Tourism is the primary human use, with limited agricultural pursuits. Plans for controlling reedbed expansion are under way. Ramsar site no. 283. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Warta River Mouth National Park (Park Narodowy "Ujscie Warty").03/01/84; Lubuskie; 7,956 ha; 52º36'N 014º47'E. Added to the Montreux Record, 16 June 1993. National Park, Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 site. An artificial reservoir near the German border which is subject to wide seasonal variations. The site is set in the Warta River floodplain and surrounded by marshes, meadows and pasture. The area is extremely important for various nesting and wintering waterbirds. Staging and molting flocks include large numbers of ducks and geese. Human activities include non-intensive cattle grazing, fishing, haymaking, and goose hunting. Warta River regulation and polluted inflow are problematic. Boundaries significantly extended in 2007. Removed from the Montreux Record, 5 November 2007. Ramsar site no. 282. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Wigry National Park.29/10/02; Podlaskie; 15,085 ha; 54°00' N, 023°06'E. National Park. A diverse wetland system around Wigry Lake and 42 smaller lakes of glacial origin and associated peatbogs. It is dominated by woodlands of boreal character with a majority of the swampy forest communities as well as aquatic and mire vegetation in close to natural state. Amongst almost 90 non-woody plant communities, notable are mire communities, in particular those of raised bogs and transitional bogs including floating moss mats. The site shelters three globally endangered bird species, Red Kite, White-tailed Eagle and corncrake, and a further 150 bird breeding species. The numerous small rivers in natural state are habitat for beavers and affected by their damming activities. The site also includes Paleolithic archaeological sites, with remnants of Stone and Iron Age nomadic hunter settlements, a graveyard of the Jacwing people with mounds from the 3rd and 4th centuries, and a valuable baroque monastery. Timber production is a predominant land use, followed by crop production and recreational activities such as water sports or angling. Unfortunately the massive tourism with about 100,000 visitors per year brings an increasing threat for the site. Ramsar site no. 1567. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

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