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Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve

Protected Areas, Alytus district

The largest wetland in Lithuania - Žuvintos marsh with Žuvintos Lake, is a real kingdom of wild birds and untouched nature.
In the shallow Žuvintas Lake covered with reeds and sedges, one of the country's most abundant populations of great baboons, reed lings, common hens breed, and many other interesting species can be found. Thousands of flying cranes and geese, other water and marsh birds stop to rest in the territory of the reserve. In terms of the number of bird species, which is more than 240, Žuvintas has no equal on the mainland of the country. In the wet meadows of Žuvinto lives one of the rarest songbirds in Europe - the reed warbler. Lithuania is among the four countries where this globally endangered bird still breeds. The variety of species of animals, plants and fungi found in the biosphere reserve is huge.
The rustling forest of Bukta in the reserve is a standard of the mixed forests of the middle plain of Lithuania with very valuable habitats and species of plants and mushrooms growing in it, which are characteristic of the beech forests of central Europe.
Next to the Žuvintos marsh and the Bukta forest lies the Žaltytis lake - a very important stopover for migrating waterfowl and the sixth-largest Amalva marsh in Lithuania with the shallow Amalva lake.
Žuvintos Reserve is the first protected area in Lithuania. This is the first and only biosphere reserve in Lithuania.
The Žuvinto Biosphere Reserve is a state-protected area. It was established in 2002 on the basis of the first Žuvintas nature reserve in Lithuania (since 1937) and neighbouring reserves.
It is a protected area of international importance.
Part of the fished biosphere reserve is protected as a Ramsar Convention ("Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, Especially Waterfowl Habitat") territory. In the Ramsar database: Fish Marsh, WI no. 3LT004, area 7500 ha. This status was granted to Žuvintos marsh in 1993.
The entire biosphere reserve since 2004. is part of the Natura 2000 network of the European Union's most valuable natural areas.
in 2011 The Žuvinto Biosphere Reserve is included in the Global Network of Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO program "Man and the Biosphere". This is the first and only Lithuanian area in the Global Network of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
On the initiative of Professor Tad Ivanauskas in 1937 Lake Žuvinto was expropriated by the state from private individuals, hunting birds and mammals is prohibited within 1 km of its surroundings, and a supervisor has been appointed. Lake Žuvinto is also called the cradle of Lithuanian swans. It is from here that mute swans spread across the lakes of Lithuania. As many as 231 winged species have been observed here, of which 153 have bred or are breeding. 987 species of plant moss, 105 algae and 292 fungi were found here. About 2,000 insects, 5 reptiles and 10 amphibian species have been recorded in the Žuvinto reserve, and more than 40 species of mammals have been discovered. 22 species of fish swim in the Žuvintas Lake itself.
! On the Žuvintas Lake nature trail, you can immediately observe and hear the never-calming life of Žuvintas Lake. Early morning is the best time for bird-watching. The 150-meter-long trail with a birdwatching tower is intended for viewing the shores of Lake Žuvintas and getting to know the rich world of the lake, its coastal reeds and bush birds, and the main plant species.
The trail is located on the territory of a nature reserve, so in order to ensure the peace of the animals found here, you should follow the indicated restrictions. Visiting the nature trail is free for individual visitors. Organized tours (more than 10 people) are allowed to visit the nature trail only after purchasing a visitor centre ticket. Visiting the visitor centre on your own costs 2 EUR. A 50% discount applies to schoolchildren, students and old-age pensioners. Self-guided visits to the visitor centre and exposition are free for children under 7 years of age and the disabled. You can find the rates and applicable discounts for all services here.

The trail is open to visitors only during daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset. You can use the parking lot from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All other areas of the Žuvintas nature reserve can only be visited with a permit.
! In the updated exhibition of the visitor centre, you can familiarize yourself with the natural values of Žuvinta and the history of the reserve, experience the natural life of Žuvinta, get to know the lake and migratory birds, the plants and animals of the high marsh, and learn the secrets of the forest protected in the reserve.
The reserve organizes thematic excursions and organizes nature lessons.

The Visitor Center is open:
II-V from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
VI from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
VII-I - not working
Migratory bird escorts are held every autumn in the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve.

Kampelių g. 10, Aleknonių k., Simno sen., Alytaus r.
GPS: 54.457093, 23.640399 (WGS)

Authors of photographs: A. Lavrėnovas, A. Pranaitis, Ž. Sinkevičius, Žuvinto biosferos rezervato direkcija