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.
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.