The site is Belarus' largest complex of bogs and transition mires with numerous lakes bringing uniqueness to the monotonous mire landscape.
A total of 98 bird species have been recorded, including 23 National Red Data Book species. Yelnia hosts scattered colonies of waders and numerous gull colonies, the latter found mainly on lakes. It is also a breeding ground for several typical bog species rare in Belarus, such as Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica, Willow Grouse Lagopus lagopus, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus and Greenshank Tringa nebularia. Yelnia is also an important stop-over ground for migrating geese and cranes in spring and autumn.
Non-bird biodiversity: 11 plant species growing on the mire and mineral islands are listed in the National Red Data Book. One can encounter Dwarf Birch Betula nana and Cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus.7 amphibian species, 5 reptile, and 31 mammal species are found. Most mammals occur along the periphery of the mire and visit the mire in search for food. There is a high abundance of Adder Vipera berus.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balota Jel'nia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2020.