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Location Belarus, Gomel
Central coordinates 27o 39.00' East  52o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 5,451 ha
Altitude 126 - 138m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Akhova Ptushak Belarusi



Site description The site is a large complex of small and large fish ponds surrounded by floodplain oak woods. There are two types of ponds: on-growing (3-8 ha) and fattening (about 50 ha). Most ponds are subject to very rapid overgrowth with vegetation, mainly by sedges and cattails. Fish ponds are different from natural high-production water bodies because they form an unlimited feeding base for birds in the form of fish and the artificial foodstuffs applied for their breeding.

Key Biodiversity Bieloie fishfarm is one of the region's largest breeding centres for many fish-eating and waterbirds. The following globally threatened species breed: White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla (1 pair) and Corncrake Crex crex (10 males). About 40-50 Black Storks Ciconia nigra stay here through the summer. But the biggest value of the IBA is that it is the sole Belarusian breeding ground of the very rare Smew Mergellus albellus (about 20 pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gadwall Mareca strepera breeding  2004  10-15 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina breeding  1989  500-600 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1991  22 breeding pairs  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1999-2002  28-35 males only  good  B2  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  60%
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 50%
forestry 20%
not utilised 30%

Protection status National Conservation Status: none

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bielaje fish farm. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/11/2014

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