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Žuvintas becomes first Lithuanian area included in World Network of Biosphere Reserves

2011-07-01

Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve has been included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. Such a decision was made by the International Coordinating Council of this Programme during its 23rd session in Dresden, Germany.

This will be the first Lithuanian area in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Established in 1976, this network currently embraces almost 600 protected areas in 114 countries. The Blekinge archipelago and Nedre Dalalven River Region in Sweden, the Berlenga archipelago in Portugal, Lake Bras d’Or in Canada and other sites were included in it together with Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve. Some biosphere reserves of neighbouring countries have already been included in this world network. These are Bialowieza Forest Biosphere Reserve in Belarus and Poland, North Vidzeme Reserve in Latvia, Eastern Carpathians and Tatra Mountains reserves in Poland.

Located in the south-western part of the physical-geographical region of Nemunas midland and Neris lowland plateau in Southern Lithuania, Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve includes Žuvintas and Amalvas wetland complexes, Bukta Forest and Lake Žaltytis with swampy surroundings. This reserve is one of the richest areas of the country in terms of natural diversity. It is home to rare and endangered as well as globally endangered species of plants and animals, and wetland plant communities and habitats that are rare in Lithuania.

Žuvintas is renowned for birds. The variety of birds there attracted researchers back in the XIX century. A total of 227 species of birds have been observed in Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve since 1980, 153 of them earlier bred or still breed there. At the end of the first decade of June, snipes, a globally endangered bird species, were noticed in Žuvintas wetlands. Snipes are among the rarest birds in the country. They are believed to breed in Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve this year.

Information of the Ministry of Environment, tel. 266 3660

01 July 2011

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas