Па-беларуску, калі ласка
Sporava mire

Photo — www.tour.brest.byPhoto — www.tour.brest.by

Location: Brest Region: Biaroza, Drahichyn, Ivanava, Ivacevichy Districts

Coordinates:52°23, 25°20 E  

Area:19,384 ha

National Conservation Status:National biological zakaznik «Sporauski» in its contemporary borders was established in 1999.

International Conservation Status:An IBA was established in 1998 (code BY 002-003, criteria A1, В2, В3). Sporava is the first Ramsar site for Belarus, established in 1999 (criteria 1a. 2а).

The site is Europe’s largest complex of natural floodplain fen mires. The Yaselda river, with its meandering and overgrown channel, crosses the centre of the zakaznik. The floodplain, which is 0.5–2 km wide, is a typical fen mire. The centre of the zakaznik is occupied by Sporauskaje Lake. Most of the site is covered by open fens (43.2%). Fens with a mosaic of shrubs cover 17.9% of the site, shrubs cover 4.1%. There are numerous small hills and low mineral islands scattered across the zakaznik. In the past, these mineral islands were covered by oak and pine woods. Eventually the forests were cut, and the islands were used as agricultural fields and pastures. Today most agricultural fields of the zakaznik are abandoned and the natural vegetation is re-generating.

Before drainage the hydrological regime of the Yaselda river was typical of flatland rivers: every spring high floods would occur, followed by prolonged summer dry periods, regularly interrupted by rainfall. Drainage was accompanied by canalization of most of the Yaselda within the zakaznik. Selec fishfarm and a reservoir were constructed in the Yaselda floodplain. Today they seriously influence the hydrological regime of the river. Spring floods are almost absent, but summer inundations have become common. Disruptions in the hydrological regime have resulted in intense overgrowth of the river channel and the lakes, severe annual inundation of the floodplain with catastrophic droughts and fires at other points during the year.

The zakaznik is used for hay-making and cattle pasturing (10-15% of the area), forestry, hunting and fishing. Arable and grain crops are grown on drained lands adjacent to the zakaznik.

Sporovo fen mire is a key habitat for the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, supporting 9% of the global population. The site is characterized by the highest breeding density of this species. It supports 20 more bird species listed in the National Red Data Book, including two disappearing ones, Corncrake Crex crexand Great SnipeGallinago media, as well as an internationally important population of Bittern Botaurus stellaris and nationally important breeding populations of Black Stork Ciconia nigra. The site hosts a total of 123 bird species.

The floodplain of the Yaselda river has a unique but not very diverse flora. High flora diversity is only observed on mineral islands; these, however, are few and in most cases transformed by people. 18 protected and 13 regionally important plant species occur. One of the unique Atlantic communities, Corynephoretum canescentis, is found here.

Rare Red Data Book fauna includes one reptile species (Fresh-water Turtle Emys orbicularis) and 18 insect species (two of which are listed in the European Red Data Book).