Balota Dzikoje

Year of compilation: 2002

Site description
Dikoe fen mire is one of Europe's largest natural fen mires.

Key biodiversity
A total of 99 bird species have been recorded, including 14 species listed in the National Red Data Book. The following nationally important bird species breed: Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa (2-3 pairs) and Eagle Owl Bubo bubo (2 pairs). The site is internationally important because it hosts large populations of several globally threatened species, including Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, Corncrake Crex crex, and Great Snipe Gallinago media.

Non-bird biodiversity: 14 National Red Data Book plant species can be found at the site. Three of them (Carex umbrosa, Lycopodiella inundata, and Salix myrtilloides) were recently found on the site for the first time, in Pruzhany District. The eastern part of the mire contains the country's largest group of Betula humilis. The vertebrate fauna of the zakaznik is diverse and includes 28 mammal, four reptile, and five amphibian species. The mire hosts Lynx Felis linx, which is rare in the Belavezhskaia Pushcha National Park. Dikoe is also valuable for the conservation of the indigenous Belavezhskaia Pushcha population of Elk Alces alces.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Cessation of hay-making is a major threat, allowing shrubs to encroach on the open fens. Drainage Incorrect exploitation of the existing drainage facilities influences the mire's hydrological regime.Speeding up of vegetation succession The Dikoe mire is currently in transition from the sedge-Hypnum to the sedge-Sphagnum stage. In the last 30-40 years this process has become much more rapid following the cessation of hand hay cutting. In turn, this leads to irreversible changes in the habitats of several globally threatened species.

Protected areas
National Conservation Status: In 1999 most of the site (92%) was added to the Belavezhskaia Pushcha National Park. The transfer of lands under the jurisdiction of the Park has not yet finished. International Conservation Status: An IBA was established in 1998 (code BY010, criteria A1, Â2, Â3).Potential Ramsar site (criteria 1, 2).

Habitat and land use
Fen mires dominate by area. Numerous forested mineral islands are scattered across the site. The mire is currently in transition from a sedge-Hypnum type to the sedge-Sphagnum type. The western part is a fen, while the eastern part is a transition mire. The forest vegetation is dominated by pine, spruce, and common birch stands. Alder and birch forests grow on the mires. Hay-making is the main economic activity. Dikoe is the only mire in the south-western part of Belarus that has retained large reserves of cranberries. Perennial grasses, arable and grain crops are grown on drained agricultural areas adjacent to the site.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balota Dzikoje. Downloaded from on 30/01/2023.