The site protects a coastal landscape containing one of the largest areas of mobile sand-dunes in Europe (up to 40 m high), and three brackish coastal lakes, the largest being £ebsko (7,140 ha, 5-6 m deep) and the second largest Gardno (2,468 ha, 2-6 m deep). The lakes are surrounded by wet meadows, pastures, and forests of alder Alnus and oak Quercus, and are bordered by extensive beds of reed Phragmites and reed-mace Typha. The £upawa and £eba rivers flow in to the lakes. Some hollows between dunes are covered by pioneer plant communities and by wet heathland in various stages of development.
Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (4 pairs), Crex crex (10-15 pairs). Other notable breeding species are Bubo bubo (4 pairs) and Circus pygargus (7-10 pairs).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Heavy water-pollution poses a threat, stemming from agriculture, industry, domestic sewage and fisheries. Reduced cattle-grazing has caused a long-term reduction in the number of breeding waders. Drainage of a large area adjacent to the National Park has destroyed extensive areas of wet meadow and bog within the park.
National High International High18,247 ha of IBA covered by National Park (S³owiñski, 18,247 ha). 5,920 ha of IBA covered by 15 Nature Reserves (Bielice; Bory Torfowe; Gackie Lêgi; Gardnieñskie Lêgi; Jezioro Do³gie Ma³e; Klukowe Buki; Klukowe Lêgi; Mierzeja; Moroszka; Olszyna; Rowokó³; S³owiñskie B³ota; Wyspa Kamienna na jeziorze Gardno; ¯arnowisko; ¯arnowskie Lêgi; combined area 5,920 ha). 18,247 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (S³owiñski, 18,247 ha). 18,247 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (S³owiñski, 18,247 ha).