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Kamanos strict nature reserve
 

Kamanos strict nature reserve

Kamanos is the largest wetland complex in the northern Lithuania. It contains representative example of a natural wetland type, characteristic of the Eastern Baltic Region. Kamanos wetland complex is of glacial origin. The site was formed about 11,000-12,000 years ago, when glacial meltwater flows filled the former depressions. The wetland complex includes a large raised bog, fens, transition mires, Lake Kamanos and more than 120 small pools. Active raised bogs occupy 1,825 ha, transition mires - 41.6 ha and fens - only 10.7 ha. Depth of the peat-bed is up to 7.2 m. The site is located 82 m above the sea level. The Kamanos wetland complex is located in the watershed of 4 small rivers of the Venta River basin and plays an important role in the whole hydrological system of the region. It is an important ecological stabilizer in the region of intensive agriculture. The average yearly temperature in the site is +6.0�C. The average amount of precipitation - 550 mm per year.

Large wet forests (total area - 1,687 ha) surround the mire complex. Bogmoss pine forests and open Sphagnum communities dominate in raised bogs of the site. Wet spruce and birch forests with dominating Picea abies - Oxalis acetosella, Betula pendula - Vaccinium myrtillus - Oxalis acetosella communities surround the bog. Some areas of the site have never been used for agriculture or intensive forestry. The territory is distinguished by especially high diversity of flora and fauna, including numerous rare and endangered species of insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants.

More than 1,000 species of algae and higher vascular plants have been recorded in the site, including 196 species of Algae, 31 - Lichenes, 134 - Bryophyta, 3 - Lycopodiophyta, 6 - Equisetophyta, 15 - Polypodiophyta, 4 - Pinophyta and 660 - Magnoliophyta. The wetland complex hosts numerous rare plant species protected in Lithuania and in the European Union. The site is distinguished by numerous rare in Europe types of habitats, listed in the EU Habitats Directive.

About 1,500 species of invertebrates, 5 - fishes, 7 - amphibians, 4 - reptiles, 180 - birds (87 species breed in the territory) and 41 - mammals have been recorded in the site. This large natural complex of wetlands is of major importance for the maintenance of rare and vulnerable species, included into the Red Data Book of Lithuania and listed in the EU Habitats and Birds Directives.

A large network of drainage canals was constructed in the site in the early and mid- 20th century. Changes of the natural hydrological regime have negatively affected the Kamanos site. The former depth of Lake Kamanos was about 4.5 m, but after the implementation of the drainage scheme it has decreased to about 3.5 m. The decrease of the groundwater level has caused a rapid overgrowing of open raised bogs of the site and degradation of certain particularly valuable habitats.

The whole territory of the site is protected. A managed Kamanos Nature Reserve was established in 1961. The Kamanos State Strict Nature Reserve was established in 1979. All human activities (except research) and public access (except regulated small groups of visitors) are strictly prohibited on the territory of the Kamanos State Strict Nature Reserve. It is the designated Ramsar site since 1993.

Research history

Fragmentary data on fauna and flora of the site are available from the 19th century. Initial investigations on vegetation of Kamanos mire were carried out in the 1920s. The first large-scale research program on hydrology (hydrocomplexes of mire, their categories, morphology and origin), stratigraphy (botanical composition of peat), water chemistry and botany was performed in 1935-1936. Detailed description of vegetation (plant communities and their complexes, mapping scheme of vegetation) is a starting point for long-term ecological research in this territory.

Establishment of the State Strict Nature Reserve (in 1979) stimulated detailed investigations of the site. The inventory of hydrological conditions, of flora and fauna of the site was implemented in the 1980s. Further regular investigations on biodiversity were performed by scientists from the Institute of Botany, other research institutes and universities, and by the research staff of the Kamanos State Strict Nature Reserve.

Fluctuations of water level, vegetation changes and populations of rare and threatened plant species have been investigated in the site for about 20 years. The natural water level, vegetation and climate change reconstruction based on interpretation of aerial photo, pollen, diatom and C14 records in Kamanos site reaches the Older Dryas and covers all chronozones of the Post- Glacial time. A content of trace elements in soil, stream and lake sediments are preliminary studied in this site. The results were analysed and compiled in numerous publications.

Half-day tour to Trakai

Trakai (4 hours tour) is one of the oldest Grand Duchy of Lithuania residence and capitals. Trakai is the second capital of Lithuania.

Tour to Kernave

Kernave village (4 hours tour) located on the banks of the river Neris (35 km from Vilnius) has been known as the capital of Lithuania before Trakai and Vilnius. 

Country life museum in Rumsiskes

Country life Open Air Museum of Lithuania (6 hours tour) is a unique and one of the largest (195 ha) open-air ethnographic museums in Europe.

Fly & Lease of campers in the Baltic.

Camper on the road

Take a tour and discover Baltics by yourself!

You will be able to travel comfortably throughout Baltic Sates in our campers, as passengers really may feel themselves like home and take any necessary stuff with them, even their most loved cup for coffee.
A virtue of motor homes is the possibility to be in the cabin in all companionship while going from place to place.
Moreover, you will be free as you will be independent from hotels and every evening you will be able to spend in any place you wish!

Prepaid individual transfer :

no trouble with money exchange upon arrival,
no need to take care oftaxi search,
no language problems !

The driver will wait for you at arrival hall with your name on the card, will help you with luggage and will safely transfer you to agreed place.
Please fill in the Transfer Reservation and we will contact you within 24 business hours with confirmation

KIA CARNIVAL  25 EUR (max 5 persons)                                                
MERCEDES-BENZ VIANO  35 EUR (max 7 persons)

per car only!