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Location Lithuania, Telsiai
Central coordinates 22o 25.00' East  55o 46.00' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 3,620 ha
Altitude 150 - 160m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Lietuvos Ornitologu Draugija (Affiliate)

Site description A large, swampy wetland of reedbeds, lakes, forests, and meadows. Biržulis lake is very shallow and surrounded by reedbeds. Sterva lake is surrounded by bogs. This IBA was previously known as `Lakes Biržulis and Styrvas' in the previous pan-European inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989).

Key Biodiversity An important breeding site for Botaurus stellaris and Larus minutus. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (a few calling males).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1996  6-10 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1999  12 males only  C6  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1999  4 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Little Crake Zapornia parva breeding  1999  8 males only  C6  Least Concern 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  1999  25 males only  C6  Least Concern 
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  1997  200 breeding pairs  unknown  B2  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  1999  80 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  1999  6 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Varniai Regional Park 16,495 protected area contains site 3,620  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland; Treeline ecotone  50%
Grassland Humid grasslands  17%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  19%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research 100%
agriculture 15%
forestry -
rangeland/pastureland 17%

Protection status National High International None16,495 ha of IBA covered by Regional Park (Varniai, 16,495 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Birzulius-Stervas marshes complex. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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