An extensive, largely untouched wilderness area with a wide range of habitats dominated by wetlands, with forest to the east and mountainous territory to the west. The main wetlands comprise open marshes, shallow lakes and wet Betula forest. There are 44,000 ha of virgin Picea and Pinus forest in the drier areas.
The IBA is important for breeding wetland and forest species, including a diversity of raptors. Breeding birds include eight out of the 15 species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the boreal biome. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Gallinago media (three breeding pairs). Numbers of birds given as breeding in the IBA are probably underestimates due to the size of the survey area.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sjaunja. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.