The site covers Rakutowskie lake (c.300 ha) and the surrounding, periodically flooded sedge meadows, as well as adjoining wet riverine forest and carr. The eastern part of the site includes a wet area of the K³ótnia river with overgrown peat-workings. Rakutowskie lake is rather shallow (average 2.5 m) with a flat shore fringed by a broad belt (100-150 m) of marginal vegetation. Due to (relatively small) water-level fluctuations, the lake area can vary by up to 60-70 ha. Floating and submerged vegetation is rich and a large part of the lake bottom is covered by stonewort Chara.
More than 20,000 waterbirds use the area in winter, and notable numbers (peak daily counts exceeding 10,000 birds) stage during autumn migration, mainly Anser, Anas, Vanellus vanellus, Larus and waders Charadrii. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (one pair), Crex crex (1-2 calling males), Acrocephalus paludicola (one singing male).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The sedge meadows are included in Jezioro Rakutowskie Nature Reserve, and part of the forest/carr is included in Olszyny Rakutowskie Nature Reserve.
National Partial International None414 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Jezioro Rakutowskie, 414 ha). 175 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Olszyny Rakutowskie, 175 ha).