In February, four new Ramsar Sites were designated in the Republic of Belarus, namely Dnieper River Floodplain, Polesye Valley of River Bug, Servech and Vileity. The 20 Wetlands of International Importance cover over 680,000 hectares of Belarus now.
1 – the Dnieper River Floodplain, Ramsar Site N 2244 – is located along the border with Ukraine. This Site is one of the last among the large floodplains in Europe that has preserved the natural state. It plays a significant role in the natural functioning of the river basin and its hydrological regime. Floodplain of the Dnieper river basin is an important habitat, breeding and staging areas in the path of the spring migration for many waterfowl. Floodplain of the Dnieper river basin is an important habitat, breeding and stopovers areas in the path of the spring migration for many waterfowl. Temporarily flooded meadows and floodplain areas are well warmed breeding grounds for rare local ichthyofauna.
2 – Polesye Valley of River Bug, Ramsar Site N 2252 – is located along the border with Poland and Ukraine and is adjacent to the Ukraine «Shatsky Lakes» Ramsar Site. The Site covers the valley right bank of the Western Bug River in the middle course. The wetland is characterized by a high degree of biological diversity and is an important area of spawning for fish. 44 species of birds listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus, are registered here and 29 species (from 44) build its nests in this Site.
3 – Servech, Ramsar Site N 2250 – is a complex of lowland, transitional and raised marshes in the floodplain of the Servech River. The wetlands play an important role in the hydrological regime of stability not only the Servech River and its tributaries, and of the Servech Lake also. Mosaic in the spatial variability of the habitats creates the conditions here for nesting rare birds that are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus: the Aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) and the Great snipe (Gallinago mediause) from the family Scolopacidae.
4 – Vileity, Ramsar Site N 2251 – is the largest natural complex of wetlands located in the transbordery area between Belarus and Lithuania and is adjacent to the Lithuanian “Adutiskis-Svyla-Birveta wetland complex” Ramsar Site. The floodplains of the Dysna, Myadelka and Birvety Rivers are important migration corridors for water birds where are registered more than 20 thousand waterfowls during spring migrations, including: the Greater White-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) and the Tundra Bean goose (Anser fabalis rossicus). The rivers of these wetlands are an important migration channel for the European eel (Anguilla anguilla).