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Location Belarus, Brest
Central coordinates 24o 51.00' East  52o 3.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 16,225 ha
Altitude 145 - 146m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Akhova Ptushak Belarusi

Site description Zvanets fen mire is located in the interfluve of the Dnieper-Bug Canal and its tributaries: Belooziorsk and Orekhov Canals. This is Europe's largest mesotrophic fen mire with numerous mineral islands.

Key Biodiversity A total of 110 bird species breed on the mire, of which 21 are listed in the National Red Data Book. The site is internationally significant because it supports one of the largest populations of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, Corncrake Crex crex, and Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga. The site hosts more than 1% of the European populations of Bittern Botaurus stellaris, and Water Rail Rallus aquaticus. The site is of national importance for the conservation of Common Crane Grus grus, Snipe Gallinago gallinago, and Curlew Numenius arquata.

Non-bird biodiversity: 67 upper vascular plant species requiring various protection are found at the IBA, including 23 listed in the National Red Data Book. Most of these plants occur on the mineral islands, which are unique islands of outstanding flora diversity amid the vast uniform wetland. The mire hosts 10 vegetation communities rare for Europe and Belarus which were once widely spread across Polesie. Two mammal, 15 terrestrial and three water invertebrate species from the National Red Data Book occur on the IBA.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1996  10-20 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Circus cyaneus breeding  1996  5-10 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Not Recognised 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga breeding  2001  1-2 breeding pairs  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1996  50-100 breeding pairs  poor  A1  Least Concern 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  1996-2001  1,000-4,000 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus breeding  1996-2001  50-100 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo breeding  2001  15 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus breeding  1996-2001  100-200 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides breeding  1996-2001  1,500-3,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola breeding  1996-2002  4,600-7,600 breeding pairs  good  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Common Grasshopper-warbler Locustella naevia breeding  2004  150-200 breeding pairs  poor  B3  Least Concern 
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus breeding  2004  6,000-8,500 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Zvanets Nature Sanctuary or Partial Reserve (Local) 10,460 protected area contained by site 10,460  
Zvanets Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 15,873 protected area contains site 15,873  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  13%
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  9%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs  78%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 50%
not utilised 30%
agriculture 20%

Protection status National Conservation Status: A national biological zakaznik Zvanets with a total area of 10,460 ha was established in 1996. In 2002 the borders of the zakaznik will be extended to encompass the whole area of the IBA. International Conservation Status: An IBA was established in 1998 (code BY016, criteria A1, B2, B3). The site is a Ramsar site (criteria 1, 2, 3).

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: Balota Zvaniec. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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