Ecologists ring alarm bells: Unigue Belarusian swamps in danger

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Belarus swamps, often called Europe’s Lungs, are in danger: unique Almany marshes and Dzitva boggy interfluve are being destroyed.

Dzitva boggy interfluve is the only territory in Lida region which was not affected by the Soviet reclamation. However, in 2016 the Belarusian authorities decided to drain the floodplain of Dzitva to extract peat. As a result of the swamp draining, hundreds of wild animals, plants and birds will lose their home. Even nests of White-tailed Eagle, one of the rarest birds of prey in Belarus, might be destroyed. Aquatic Warbler — a bird, which is protected in Europe, will also lose her home

In a few years Belarus may lose a unique swamp that protects Lida region against fires, sand storms, and provides the area with clean air. Locals have gathered almost 400 signatures with the request to make it a reserve. But the National Academy of Sciences state that this area does not have Red Book animals living in it .

Moreover, the largest swamp reserve in Europe is also under threat of destruction. Almany marshes are Europe’s largest untouched wetlands with an area of ​​over 900 km2

An array of wetlands is located on the territory of Belarus and Ukraine. But Palessye forestry has recently building 14 km of road straight through the untouched territory. The road will form a dam, violating hydrological regime. One part of the bog will collect water and turn into a pond, and the other one will dry out.

This complex of swamps is special, since it was not affected by the reclamation. In Soviet times there was a military training ground where secret weapons were tested. The territory has become a major breeding site for the most cautious bird of prey in Belarus — Spotted Eagle In total there are 151 species of birds, 25 of which are listed in the Red Book of Belarus There is also a bog turtle recorded in all Red Books

The specialists of ‘APB-BirdLife Belarus’ call to suspend construction, revise the project and make the environmental impact assessment But officials insist that the road would not do harm, becoming a good natural barrier.

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