The site encompasses the largest raised bog in Lithuania (5,858 ha) with many forest `islands', small lakes and marshes, and surrounded by mostly dry Pinus forests on sand-dunes. The bog is the source of two of the cleanest rivers in the country, the ûla and Katra. There is a very low level of land-use.
A nationally important site for breeding waders (Pluvialis apricaria and Tringa glareola), woodpeckers (Picus canus, P. viridis and Picoides tridactylus) and Grus grus, and the most important site in Lithuania for Gallinago media and for Tetrao tetrix (more than 50 pairs). Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla, Crex crex.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The reserve is strictly protected and there are no real threats other than the natural colonization of the raised bog by trees, and the event of natural fire. The whole site is covered by the national IBA monitoring network.
National Partial International Partial10,590 ha of IBA covered by Strict Nature Reserve (èepkeliai, 10,590 ha). 10,590 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (èepkeliai, 10,590 ha).