A wetland complex on the flood-plain of the Emajõgi river near the town of Tartu in eastern Estonia, with meadows, lakes, rivers, reedbeds, scrub and reseeded grasslands (polders). The main land-uses are haymaking, sand-mining and recreation.
The area is an important breeding site for several waterbird species of flood-plain wetlands. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (3-5 pairs), Gallinago media (5-10 pairs). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Larus minutus (min. 50 pairs).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Major threats are posed by nutrient pollution (due to effluents from Tartu town and fertilizer run-off), overgrowth of meadows with scrub due to reduced haymaking, disturbance of birds by angling, recreation/tourism, fuel-oil pollution from boats, unsustainable hunting, drainage and canalization. The area is a proposed Protected Landscape. An inventory of breeding and migrating birds was completed in 1992.