Па-беларуску, калі ласка
Almany Mire

Location: Brest Region, Stolin District

Coordinates:51°50 N 27°15 E

Area: 94,219 ha

National Conservation Status:A national landscape zakaznik, established in 1998

International Conservation Status:An IBA, established in 1998 (code BY018, criteria А1, В2, В3). Ramsar site designation was granted in 2001 (criteria 1a, 2a)

The site is one of the Europe’s largest natural bog, transition and fen mire complexes. It is located on the grounds of an active aviation military training area. The national landscape zakaznik was established here in 1998. In the south-west the mire extends into Ukraine. The border of the zakaznik, therefore, coincides with the border of Belarus. Transformed areas (roads, military check-points) make up more than 1% of the total area of the zakaznik. About 40% of the site is covered with open wetlands with numerous scattered sand dunes (islands and elongated ridges) overgrown with pine and small-leafed forests. Bogs with sparse reeds, mosses and birches, dominate the area. Woods occupy 50% of the area, mainly forest swamps. However, dry pinewoods, as well as floodplain oak and black alder forests, are also common.

Almany wood and mire complex is located in the interfluve of the Lva and Stviga rivers, right-hand tributaries of the Pripyat. Several old drainage ditches, dated as early as the beginning of the 20th century flow into the Stviga river. The ditches are no longer used, but they continue to drain the wetland areas. The Lva river forms the north-west boundary of the IBA. Two comparatively large lakes, Vialikaje Zasaminaie and Malaje Zasaminaie, are located in the northern part of the site. Together, they cover about 100 ha. The site also comprises 23 more lakes, but these are all quite small (0.5-5 ha). The IBA is distinguished for its relatively large size, its natural state and its hydrological stability.

Almay mire is a unique wilderness area because all settlements were moved out following the establishment of military training area. Despite traditional views about the interference of the military into nature, the activities of the military units has not caused any degradation of the IBA’s ecosystems. On the contrary, the limits on the economic use of the area because of the area’s military designation have resulted in outstanding close-to-natural conditions. The military activities have now been ceased.

Almany mire is the most important site in Europe for conservation of Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, supporting as many as 30 breeding pairs of this rare bird. The site is also of European significance for conservation of many other birds of prey – such as Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus, Short-toed Egale Circaetus gallicus, Eagle Owl Bubo bubo.  

Mosaic habitats provide suitable conditions for breeding many bird species. A total of 151 species have been recorded in the IBA, with 25 National Red Data Book species. Red-listed species include Black Stork Ciconia nigra, Crane Grus grus. Surprisingly for a raised bog, Almany mire holds a significant population of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola (100-150 vocalizing males). Almany wood and mire complex supports a considerable part (10-20%) of the national populations of Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa. It is also important for Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, the Polesian population of which is much threatened.

26 mammal species occur on the site, including three National Red Data Book species. European Mink Mustela lutreola, a species threatened in Europe, was recorded here regularly until recently. The Stviga and Lva floodplains support one of the largest populations of OtterLutra lutra. 687 plant species are found on the site, including 12 National Red Data Book species.

Almany mire is a very special place and definitely worth a visit, since natural areas of such extent can hardly be found anywhere else in lowland Europe.