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The Biebrza Marshes

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The Biebrza Marshes (Biebrza Valley) are a complex series of habitats, located on the Biebrza river valley, in Suwałki, Łomża in the northeast of Poland. The area encompasses river channels, lakes, extensive marshes with wooded areas on higher ground and well-preserved peat bogs that occupy around 1000 km2. The area shows a clear succession of habitats from riverside fen through to raised bogs, grading into wet woodland. Because of this unique succession, the area supports vast numbers of wildlife with many birds and mammals common.

The water marshes in the area are commonly flooded and the resulting alluvial soil supports an array of waterside vegetation.

It is one of the largest wildlife refuges in Europe. Biebrza flood waters is a real kingdom of birds - seen here over 250 species, more than 80% of Polish avifauna. Starting in the early spring mating birds attract birdwatchers from around the world.

The greater part of this area is the Biebrza National Park, covered by the Ramsar Convention to protect the wetlands and bird breeding grounds.

Flora and vegetation

In the area of the Biebrza Marshes 43 plant associations were distinguished, some rarely seen in other parts of the Polish. Communities are water, marsh, peat, reeds and forest communitiesbiebrzanski_swamps2 (alder, birch, riparian forests). Particularly valuable is a large group of sedge-moss communities, containing many rare and relict species, disappearing in other parts of the country.

The vegetation is characterized by great diversity, a high degree of naturalness and the presence of many rare species, such as:

  • shrub birch and willow Lappish
  • Forkbeards: lycopodium annotinum, clubmoss, fir
  • pink sand, chimaphila umbellata, polemonium caeruleum
  • sundew: drosera rotundifolia, drosera anglica
  • Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum, durable
  • Siberian iris.
  • orchids (20 species), among others: Lady's slipper orchid, dactylorhiza incarnata.


fox, wolf, swamp, moose, valley, trekkingBiebrza Marshes are the most important in Poland and throughout Central and Western Europe, breeding area for many bird species associated with the marsh environment. Biebrza Valley is an ornithological particular importance, especially as the wetlands are disappearing in the landscape of Europe, and the birds of these groups lose their basis of their existence. There are also isolated position boreal breeding species, and species whose geographical center is located in the taiga and tundra zone. In addition, Biebrza Valley is of great importance for many species of birds feeding and resting during the annual migrations. Bird siewkowatych, requiring vast wetlands, Biebrza is one of the most important sites in Central Europe.

Among the mammals in the Biebrza Marshes are:

  • moose, which only survived here for World War II and was protected by multiply and spread on Polish territory
  • red deer, roe deer, wild boar, brown hare, european beaver
  • wolf, fox, raccoon, badger, polecat wort, pine marten, otter, stoat, weasel

In the waters of Biebrza, there are approximately 36 species of fish such as pike, catfish, eel, and also typical of the foothills of chub and barbel.

Source: Wikipedia
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