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Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola)

Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola)

Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) is the only globally threatened passerine bird found in mainland Europe. Lithuania and Latvia currently are among eight countries worldwide with suitable breeding habitats for this rare species. From 2011 it is breeding only in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania. In 2012 63-64 singing males were found in Lithuania, while meadowns in Latvia remained silent.In 2012 and 2013 population decreased even more. In 2013 only 50 singing males were counted in Lithuania. The number of Aquatic Warblers is also decline in whole Europe.

Aquatic Warbler is a habitat specialist occurring mainly in open sedge fen mires and marshy habitats. Today it is facing extinction due to an increasingly abandoned farmland or transformation of meadows into a grazing land. Therefore its conservation is closely linked to sustainable farming practices.

Video recording of the Aquatic Warbler in Nemunas River Delta in 2012.


This much of the global Aquatic Warbler populations has gone extinct over the past century. This is mainly due to the destruction of wet and open sedge fen mires and marchy habitats.

8 countries

This many countries are left worldwide with suitable breeding habitats for the Aquatic Warbler. Lithuania and Latvia are among them along with Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Hungary and Belarus.

4 months

This is how much time this species is spending in Lithuania: arriving in May and taking off back to Africa at the end of August.

10 grams

This is how much this tiny threatened passerine weighs.


It was not until a decade ago  when it was discovered that Aquatic Warbler is wintering in the Senegal River Delta in Western Africa. However, two thirds of its wintering sites remain still unknown.

50 males

Scientists are counting singing males when monitoring this bird. This many singing males were registered in Lithuania in 2013. 

30 meters

This is the farthest that females go from the nest to feed.

16 days

Ths is how much time the caring mother of the Aquatic Warbler is looking after its offspring - the longest of all warblers. The bird lays 3 to 6 eggs.

Photos by Zymantas Morkvenas and Arunas Pranaitis

Video by Zymantas Morkvenas, recorded with special permit from Environmental Protection Agency

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