Almany Mires Reserve in Belarus grows by 10,000 ha

Belarus’s Council of Ministries officially announces a 10,000-hectare expansion of the Almany Mires Nature Reserve. The reserve now covers more than 104,000 hectares – about the size of Hong Kong. Almany is Europe’s largest intact transition mire, and together with protected areas across the border in Ukraine, it forms the largest complex of bogs and mires on the continent. This unique landscape is one of the planet’s best forms of long-term carbon storage. Almany protects crucial habitat for endangered wildlife including large mammals like lynx, bear, wolves and elk; one of Europe’s rarest songbirds, the Aquatic Warbler; and the globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle.  

The reserve also forms part of the Pripyat river basin in Polesia, playing a vital hydro-regulatory role for one of Europe’s last wild rivers. With better protection secured for its headwaters, the Save Polesia coalition continues to push to save the Pripyat river itself from the proposed construction of the E40 waterway. The required major alteration of rivers would have disastrous impacts on all life in Polesia. 

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*Top photo is a Greater Spotted Eagle chick, image credit: APB-Birdlife Belarus.