Middle Warta River Valley

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
A 120 km stretch of the middle Warta river between Babin village (near Uniejów town) and Pogorzelica village (near Pyzdry town), including the Ko³o valley (Kotlina Kolska) and the Konin basin (Dolina Koniñska). Much of the valley used to flood each spring, but after the construction of Jeziorsko reservoir, spring flooding stopped completely, and habitats changed greatly. As a result of river embankment, the Ko³o valley is now a mosaic of cultivated fields, intensively used meadows, pastures, small stands of woodland and settlements. The main land-use is grazing. The Konin basin, however, has a more natural character. Here the river floods onto wet meadows in April and hollows within meadows are permanently flooded and not cultivated. Low-lying oxbow lakes and their surrounding areas are covered mainly with water-fringe vegetation. There are also riverside beds of osier Salix, scattered plantations, small areas of carr, and sand-dunes covered with pine Pinus forest. Land-use here is mainly non-intensive agriculture, including haymaking in meadows and livestock-grazing on private farms.

Key biodiversity
Up to 35,000 or more waterbirds roost here, mainly wildfowl Anser/Anas with lesser numbers of waders (Charadrii). Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aythya nyroca (recently extinct here), Gallinago media (two pairs). A total of 153 species have been recorded breeding.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are posed by changes in the water-regime of the Warta river following the construction of Jeziorsko reservoir upstream, by the abandonment of agricultural management of meadows, by the conversion of meadows to arable land following damming and drainage, and by agricultural intensification locally.

Protected areas
National Partial International None13,428 ha of IBA covered by Landscape Park (Nadwarciañski, 13,428 ha). 10,000 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape Area (Pyzdrski, 16,572 ha). 5,000 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape Area (Uniejowski, 18,000 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Middle Warta River Valley. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.