Kvismaren is a flat fertile agricultural valley. Extensive marshy areas originally surrounded two lakes, but following drainage in the 1880s the lakes disappeared. They have now been replaced by extensive reedbeds (Phragmites) and Salix thickets surrounded by marshy meadows, low-lying pasture and arable land, and densely wooded areas. The main wetland is enclosed by embankments and canals to protect nearby arable land from flooding. Three areas of open water, covering c.230 ha, have recently been restored as shallow lakes or water-meadows. The IBA contains an important ornithological station.
The site is important for breeding species of wetland and wet grassland habitats, as well as for passage wildfowl and waders. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Increasing numbers of Anser fabalis and Grus grus have led to conflict with farmers (`Other' threat). A programme has been undertaken both to alleviate this problem and to compensate farmers for crop losses. Continued restoration of the western part of the IBA is expected to begin soon.
National High International HighIBA overlaps with Nature Reserve (732 ha). 780 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Kvismaren, 780 ha). IBA overlaps with Special Protection Area (732 ha).