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Republican landscape wildlife area of "Zvanets"

The republican landscape wildlife area of "Zvanets" of 15873 hectares - the low-lying bog of mezotrofny type, largest in Europe, with numerous open mineral islands is located in 145 - 151 m above sea level. Uniqueness of landscapes, florae and faunae of a complex it is caused by a wide circulation of carbonate soils. On the area open low-lying bogs, mineral islands of the different sizes - from 0,2 to 10 hectares prevail - are scattered on all massif on which the woods and bushes mainly grow. From 50th years of the last century the area of open bogs strongly decreased due to increase in the area of the woods and bushes. Here the largest group of globally threatened bird species of Europe - a restless millerbird of Acrocephalus paludicola lives, the big group of globally threatened, rare and protected in Belarus animal species and plants is noted. The wildlife area of "Zvanets" has the international value, corresponding to the following criteria:
- is a good example sedge gipnovykh the low-lying bogs characteristic of the biogeographical region Polesia;
- supports the group, largest in Europe, of globally threatened species of a restless millerbird (16% of the European population);
- is the place of nesting of 21 bird species included in the Red List of RB. Here grow 10 rare for Belarus and Europe of communities of vegetation, earlier widespread on low-lying bogs of Polesia. Rather big group of the plants registered on Zvantsa belongs to the category rare and/or protected. 23 species of plants belong to the I-IV categories of the Red List of RB.
The bog Zvanets is located in the territory of Drogichinsky and Kobrin districts of the Brest region. In the north it adjoins to the Dnieper and Bugsky channel, in the east - to Belozersky Canal, in the south - to bypass canals of meliorative systems, in the West - to the Orekhovsky channel. The territory of the wildlife area of "Zvanets" represents the lake hollow formed when thawing a rissky glacier and filled with alluvial deposits. The lake was gradually reduced in sizes and in the subsequent turned into the boggy plain. Ancient lake and alluvial deposits lie directly at a surface, except for those sites of marsh massifs where they are covered with modern peat deposits. Power of lake and alluvial sandy deposits changes from 1,1 to 14 m. The bog Zvanets belongs to large low-lying bogs of the Polesia landscapes where in big on the area, but the superficial hollows covered by sand thanks to proximity and abundance of ground waters there was an intensive bogging of the territory.

The uneven surface of the marsh massif is covered with the numerous sandy islands giving it relief gryadovo-hilly character. The marsh Zvanets array is located to Entre Rios of the Dnieper and Bugsky channel and its inflows - Belozersky and Orekhovsky channels. The main source of food of a bog are underground waters, in autumn and in spring time an additional role is played by atmospheric waters. The water level depth on the most part of a bog is insignificant, polderny meliorative systems and a network of channels have significant effect on the hydrological mode of a ground that causes frequent floods or droughts in the wildlife area, the major fire causing essential damage to all biological diversity. A bog Zvanets - a typical example water separate low-lying sedge gipnovykh bogs of the Polesia region, remained in natural state. Zvanets was part of earlier existing largest marsh array "Golovchitsky Bog" located in east part of Entre Rios of the rivers Osinovka, Mukhavets, Pina and Pripyat. After melioration of the 1960-80th years the majority of low-lying bogs were transformed to agrofitotsenoza. In Europe in natural state there were only six large low-lying bogs, at the same time Zvanets - the largest of them.

Thanks to a bog arrangement on a watershed of pools, the hydrological mode and quality of water on the most part of the territory remain close to natural characteristics and are reference. Sedge open sites of a low-lying bog represent natural habitats with the minimum influence of the person. They can serve as a standard when planning management of low-lying bogs and during the works on restoration of boggy territories.
The total area of the territory of the wildlife area of "Zvanets" makes 15873 hectares, its territory is conditionally subdivided into several natural and territorial complexes depending on features of a landscape, level, a geographical position, and character of anthropogenous loadings. At the same time open low-lying bogs occupy the space of 11150 hectares, the woods and bushes cover the area of 2575 hectares, settling down mainly on mineral islands. The open mineral islands deprived of wood vegetation occupy the considerable territory - 2089 hectares. Valuable flora: In the territory of the wildlife area of "Zvanets" 644 species of the higher vascular plants are found. For flora strongly and so-so boggy sites where water level above a soil surface on 10-50 cm is constant or remains during the long period (over 2 months), very small list of species of flowering plants is characteristic.
Absolutely other picture is observed on so-called mineral islands and ecoton sites between a bog and islands. They, really, act as islands of the richest here, and often and just unique flora among monotonous vegetation of boggy space: the specific richness of islands is 3-10 times higher, than on the boggy sites surrounding them. Preservation of richness of flora of islands is defined by safety of boggy part as change of hydrological level on a bog leads to strong simplification of flora, loss of a number of types. Among noted species of plants quite considerable group belongs to the category rare and protected. 23 look belong to protected species of 1-4 categories of protection (according to the Red List of Republic of Belarus, 1993): lady's slipper real, zubyanka tuberiferous, bedrenets big, gentian crosswise, kasatik Siberian, hiding place ovoid, horsetail motley, water-lily white, onions bear, etc. Within the wildlife area 67 species of the higher vascular plants demanding various forms of protection are revealed. It makes one tenth from total number of species of the plants growing on Zvantsa that testifies to the high natural value of this territory.
Valuable fauna: Features of fauna of the territory of the wildlife area are caused by existence of the following types of habitats: open low-lying sedge bogs, vysokostebelny surface vegetation, boggy bushes, open and oblesenny mineral islands, reservoirs and waterways. The fauna of vertebrata of the wildlife area is various and includes 29 species of mammals, 125 bird species, 5 - reptiles and 9 - amphibians. From 29 species of the mammals living in the territory, two look are included in the Red List of Belarus - a badger and a lynx. Treat typical not numerous types: kutor small, fox, raccoon dog, forest polecat, American mink, caress, red vole, ordinary vole, wild boar, roe, elk.
From 125 bird species revealed in the territory of a bog of "Zvanets", 110 - nesting. 21 bird species are included in the Red List of Republic of Belarus: the small toadstool, a big bittern, a big white heron, a black stork, a sea eagle-belokhvost, zmeeyad, small podorlik, big podorlik, an ordinary pustelga, a cheglok, small pogonysh, a gray crane, the big curlew, an eagle owl, a marsh owl, an ordinary halcyon, a varakushka, a nightingale cricket, a restless millerbird, ordinary remise, gray sorokonut.
The international importance of a bog Zvanets consists, first of all, in maintenance of globally threatened bird species: the largest population of a restless millerbird in Europe (3000-6000 singing males), not less than 2 couples of a big podorlik, more than 30 couples of a korostel. A bog Zvanets is of also great importance for preservation of a number of rare bird species in Europe: big bittern (50-300 males), meadow lun (10-20 couples), ordinary pogonysh (1000-4000 couples), big curlew (50-100 couples), marsh owl (100-200 couples).
On a bog Zvanets 9 species of amphibians and 5 species of reptiles, among them - a marsh turtle - the look protected in Belarus are noted. 27 species of fish, the majority of which belongs to the widespread lake and river types characteristic of all river basins of Belarus, live in reservoirs and waterways. From 728 types of the arthropods revealed in the territory of the wildlife area of 14 species of insects it is included in the Red List of Belarus, 5 types are entered in the European Red list of animals and plants (IUCN).
In last decade started talking about need of preservation of wetlands not only scientists, were widely adopted the international programs of UNESCO, the Ramsarsky convention. In the Polesia region a number of the international projects on their studying and the description was carried out: so, in 1997-98 during implementation of the project Fonda Otto (Germany) / Royal Society of Protection of Birds (England) on research of ecology of a restless millerbird in Belarus it was revealed that on a bog Zvanets lives the largest population of this look and need of scheduling of management of a ground is proved. The management plan of a bog Zvanets is developed for preservation of an ecosystem of the marsh massif in 2001 within the international joint project of Royal society of protection of birds (Great Britain)/program of development of the UN. In 2001-2002 with financial support of OMPO (France) a number of projects on studying and the description of a bog Zvanets as Ramsarsky wetland ground is executed.
The wildlife area of "Zvanets" has great potential value for scientific researches of ecosystems of low-lying bogs of mezotrofny type and training of experts as represents the largest of the low-lying bogs of Europe which remained in natural state. During implementation of the international and national nature protection projects the close attention is paid to development of ecological consciousness among local population, information on the importance of a ground is carried to the population through mass media, the edition of information materials - guides, cards, calendars, posters about the wildlife area of "Zvanets".
Social and cultural importance. In the territory of the wildlife area there are no monuments of archeology, culture, history protected by the state. At the same time, Dnieper and Bugsky and Beloozerskoy channels are of certain historical value.
The Dnieper and Bugsky canal was built in 1775-1783, Beloozersky - in 1905-1910. On separate sites of Dnieper and Bugsky and Beloozersky canals coastal retaining designs from an oak and the elements of lock constructions which are samples of hydraulic engineering constructions of the end 19 - the beginning of 20 centuries still remained.
Also historically developed system of managing in this territory is of interest. Practically until the end of the fiftieth years in the western and northern parts of the nature protection territory on mineral islands existed numerous the farm. Now, in spite of the fact that practical all the farm within the wildlife area disappeared, agriculture on mineral islands remains in historical borders successors of the former land owners. The bortnichestvo is widespread in a ground. Packs, are established on oaks - giants who already in itself have a certain historical, horologichesky, esthetic and scientific value.
Objects of historical and ethnographic character are available and in close proximity to the wildlife area. On northern border of the nature protection territory there is a village of Galik. In 1942 it was burned what the obelisk in the center of this small settlement testifies to. The village of Yamnik, especially its southern part, practically kept characteristic historical Polesia appearance. The roofs of sheds, wattle fences covered by reed, cranes wells are in harmony with the numerous nests of white storks located on old trees and eaves of houses.
Near the republican landscape wildlife area of "Zvanets" there are places connected with life and activity of the Polish-Belarusian writer Elisa Ozheshko.