Asveysky wildlife reserve

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The reserve was established in 2000 and and has an area of 27 754 hectares..
It is found in the North of Vitsebsk Voblast's Verkhnyadvzvinsk District.
The Reserve management authority was established in 2005 by Verkhnedvnsk District Executive Committee.
The Reserve is an internationally important biodiversity atrea. It has been listed as an internationally important important bird area since 1998, and as an internationally important wetland habitat (a Ramsar site) since 2008.
The area's landscape features multiple lakes, larrge forests, and raised bogs and marshes. Lake Asveyskaye constitutes the core of the Reserve's ecosystem, shaping the climate and hydrological regime of the local area, and the Northern part of Belarus..
Raised and transitional bogs covered with pine, birch and alder forests occupy a large portion of the Reserve. Rare mineral islands are scattered among the wetlands.
Forests cover more than 30% of the Reserve, and bushes around 6%. Fens are relatively few.
The Reserve lies within the basin of the Zakhodnyaya Dzvina, linked to it via the River Svolna. The water system is relatively dense, and includes lakes, rivers and irrigation canals. Elevations range between 131 and 169 above sea level, and water bodies cover around 25% of the territory

There are some 164 nesting bird species, including 44 species listed in the Red Book of Belarus. The lakes and the surrounding territories attract lage populations of aquatic bird species during the Spring and Autumn migration periods.

 

The reserve also has three Red Book mammal species - the brown bear, the lynx, and the badger.
Some 16 red book plant species have been found in the Reserve's territory. Rare plant species include hyprids of black and speckled alder, standard forms of Karelian birch, a large population of the whitewater lily and blistered aldrovanda, a rare carnivorous vascular plant.
Landscapes The reserve is found in the Sub-taiga subzone, and is a part of the poozerye natural provice, dominated by glaciolacustrine, marainic and lymnetic landscapes. Orographically, the area can be viewed as a part of the Northern and Eastern sections of the Asveya Ridge.
The area is covered by raised, medium and low-lying terrains, wetland landscapes, and large areas covered by water, adding to the complexity of the local landscape organisation. The area also has examples of every other landscape type typically found in the Belarusian Poozerye.
Wetland-dominated natural systems occupy a particularly large proportion of the Reserve (20%), as compered to only 5.7% across the Belarusian Poozerye. This adds to the uniqueness of the Reserve's landscapes and terrains.

 

Lakes

Lake Asveyskaye occupies an area of 5280 hectares, and is the second largest natural water body in Belarus. Average depth is 2 metres, and maximum depth is 8.9 metres. It is fed by the River Vydranka and an irrigation channel, and drained by the Dzehtsyarouka channel.
Lake Dzisna has an area of 1644 Hectares. Maximum depth is 2.6 metres, and maximum depth 6.5 metres. It is fed by the Dzehtsyarouka channel and several rivulets. The River Svolna flows through the lake.
Lake Belaye/Kolyarovo has an area of 520 hectares, and an average depth of 3.3 metres. It is linked to Lake Lisna by an irrigation canal.
The lakes are populated by large numbers of European roach, carpream, pike. Other common species include the tench, perch, pike perch, carp, ruffle. Fish species such as the burbot occur less frequently.


Ecotourism


Ecoturists can be attracted to the Reserve by its unique biodiversity, large number of Red Book bird and anumal species, interesting ladscapes, large natural water bodies with water and hiking trails, and bird watching areas. Several horse riding trails are now being developed.


Hunting and fishing


Hunting tours for foreign nationals are offered by two wildlife management organisations headqaurtered in the North of Verkhnyadvzvinsk District: Asveya Forestry and Game Management Authority and Inter-Service OOO.
Recreational fishing is permitted in the lakes. All large lakes have management organisations, but there are no fees. Use of motor boats is bermitted on Lakes Belaye and Lisna, but is prohibited on Lake Asveyskaye. Parking lots are being created and expanded to accommodate growing numbers of recreational fishing enthusiasts.
Historical and cultural heritage The reserve is also rich in historical heritage, with 37 valuable sites on the national protection list, including 28 historical and nine archeological monuments. The monastery hospital, built in 1759, the ruins of Shadursky Castle, and the Romance-style landscape park in the nearby settlement of Asveya are just a few of those attraction. Notable examples of architectural heritage include three ancient settlement sites and three burial mounds dating back to period from the 7th century A.C. to 12th century A.D.
Past wars have left numerous traces in the area. Here, tourists can find battery sites from the Swedish war, French army graves, and mud huts from World War 2. The friendship mound found on the juncture of the borders of Latvia, Russia and Belarus is a recent monument built in 1959.
Agroecotourism is a growing industry. Services are already available in Vyalikaye Selo, Strelki and Asveya.

 

 

National Wildlife ReserveAsveysky
ul. Sovetskaya 170, building 2 211631 Verkhnyadvzvinsk Vitsebsk Voblast
Tel./fax: (02151) 56-231 ,E-mail: osvejski@rambler.ru

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