A shallow, nutrient-rich lake situated in a generally flat landscape, except for a few higher areas that are covered by coniferous forest. The lake was lowered three times by drainage projects in the nineteenth century and the reclaimed land, now grazed water-meadows, forms an important wader habitat. The rapid water exchange in the lake means that the period of ice-cover is quite short. Livestock-grazing is the main land-use.
The site is important as a stop-over site for passage waterbirds and waders. Passage species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Anser erythropus, Crex crex and Gallinago media.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Habitat deterioration has occurred, and the site is slowly reverting to marsh. An unfavourable water regime is assisting the successional process, and drainage, dredging and reclamation projects are ongoing. Breeding wetland birds have almost disappeared. Management agreements exist between the National Environmental Board and land-owners.
National High International High IBA overlaps with Nature Reserve (östen, 1,420 ha). 1,010 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (östen, 1,010 ha). IBA overlaps with Special Protection Area.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Östen. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 25/06/2021.