|Central coordinates||27o 55.00' East 55o 34.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B1i, B2|
|Altitude||136 - 138m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Site description The site is Belarus' largest complex of bogs and transition mires with numerous lakes bringing uniqueness to the monotonous mire landscape.
Key Biodiversity A total of 98 bird species have been recorded, including 23 National Red Data Book species. Yelnia hosts scattered colonies of waders and numerous gull colonies, the latter found mainly on lakes. It is also a breeding ground for several typical bog species rare in Belarus, such as Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica, Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus and Greenshank Tringa nebularia. Yelnia is also an important stop-over ground for migrating geese and cranes in spring and autumn.
Non-bird biodiversity: 11 plant species growing on the mire and mineral islands are listed in the National Red Data Book. One can encounter Dwarf Birch Betula nana and Cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus.7 amphibian species, 5 reptile, and 31 mammal species are found. Most mammals occur along the periphery of the mire and visit the mire in search for food. There is a high abundance of Adder Vipera berus.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix||resident||1990-2001||150-180 breeding pairs||medium||B2||Least Concern|
|Common Crane Grus grus||non-breeding||1990-2001||2,000-2,500 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Crane Grus grus||breeding||1990-2001||50-60 breeding pairs||good||B2||Least Concern|
|Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus||breeding||1990-2001||40-50 breeding pairs||good||B2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Elnya||Zakaznik||23,200||protected area contains site||23,200|
|Yelnia||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||46,400||protected area contains site||23,200|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Alluvial and very wet forest||17%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Standing freshwater||83%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||70%|
Protection status National Conservation Status: A national hydrological zakaznik was established in 1968. In 1981 the borders of the zakaznik were revised. International Conservation Status: An IBA was established in 1998 (code BY002, criteria À4, Â1, Â2).Ramsar site (criterion 1, 3, 5, 6).
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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balota Jel'nia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/08/2015
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