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Location Belarus, Brest,Grodno
Central coordinates 23o 54.00' East  52o 39.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 85,534 ha
Altitude 145 - 202m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Akhova Ptushak Belarusi

Site description Belovezhskaia Pushcha is Europe's last largest complex of primeval forests, typical of the forests that once covered middle Europe. Belovezhskaia Pushcha retains virgin forests with its typical flora and fauna. Ancient forests dominate by area, which is untypical for Belarusian woods. The average age of the trees is 90 years old, but trees that are 200-250 years old are very common.

Key Biodiversity A total of 253 bird species have been recorded. Almost all 75 bird species listed in the National Red Data Book occur. The site hosts the following globally-threatened species: White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, and Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola.

Non-bird biodiversity: The fauna of the Park includes 59 mammal, 28 fish, 11 amphibian and 7 reptile species. European Bison Bison bonasus is the pride and beauty of the IBA. At present, there are about 300 individual bisons in the Park. The high soil diversity means that the Park has an outstanding variety of plants. The vascular plant species includes about 900 species, with more than 40 of those listed in the National Red Data Book. Tree species include Silver Fir Abies alba, Durmast Oak Quercus petraea, Wych Elm Ulmus glabra, and Marn Elm Ulmus laevis. The rare shrub species listed in the National Red Data Book include Common Ivy Hedera helix, German Broom Genista germanica, and Whortleberry Willow Salix myrtilloides.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  2001  15-20 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding  2001  220-250 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus breeding  2001  15-25 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina breeding  2001  30-40 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga breeding  2001  1-2 breeding pairs  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo resident  2001  12-20 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest World Heritage Site 92,676 protected area contained by site 5,500  
Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 191,300 protected area contains site 87,400  
Belowezskaya Pushcha National Park 87,607 protected area contains site 87,400  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Native coniferous woodland  92%
Grassland Humid grasslands  1%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  7%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 10%
nature conservation and research 80%
tourism/recreation 10%

Protection status National Conservation Status: A Belarusian State Zapovednik "Belovezhskaia Pushcha" was established in 1939. In 1957, it was re-organized into a hunting and conservation reserve. In 1990, a National Park was established. International Conservation Status: In 1992 the site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.A transborder biosphere reserve was established in 1993. An IBA was established in 1998 (code BY009, criteria À1, Â2, Â3).

References A.Kozulin, L.Vergeichik, M.Nikiforov and others. Treasures of Belarusian nature.- Minsk, 2002. -160 p.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bielaviežškaja Pušča. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife