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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve comprises 53 km of the coastline of the Gulf of Riga and borders to the north the frontier with Estonia. It covers 474,447 hectares corresponding to the catchment basins of the Salace, Svetupe and Vitrupe Rivers. Lakes characterise the landscape (over sixty greater than 3 hectares) as well as gentle glacially formed hills and rolling plains. The coastal part consists of sandy beaches, coastal meadows and areas of bare rocks. The area is important from a conservation point of view since it harbours raised bogs, wild rivers with wild Baltic salmon, coastal meadows which are traditionally maintained by grazing and remnants of the ancient broadleaf forest. 60 people live in the core area of the biosphere reserve (1997). In the surrounding areas, agriculture is the economic main activity, although traditional grazing practices are declining. There are 25,000 visitors per year and tourism is increasing (1997). Monitoring focuses on topics such as water quality, air pollution, plant communities and insects. There are also many training and environmental education activities.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests and woodland, including mire, riverine systems and coastal/marine component
  Major habitats & land cover types   Boreal coniferous and mixed forests; wetlands; raised bogs and open bog pools; fens and wet meadows; lakes and rivers; coastal dunes and marine littoral area; extensive agricultural and urban areas
  Location   5720' to 5810'N; 2420' to 2600'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   474,447
  Core area(s)   9,728
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +127
  Year designated   1997
  Administrative authorities   Administration of Northern Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve
  Brief description   Structure and function of salmonid river Salaca
Monitoring of bog lakes
Air quality detection using lichens as indicators
Structure and dynamics of coastal meadow
Management and rehabilitation of small watercourses
Quaternary lithology of North Vidzeme
Wintering waterfowl census
Botanical and zoological surveys
Botanical composition of mires
Development of socio-economic structures
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Air quality, geology.
  Biodiversity   Birds, coastal/marine, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, fauna, flora, freshwater/inland water, indicators, lichens, methodologies, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment.
  Socio-economic   Social/Socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   Andris Urtans
Northern Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve
Rigas str.10a
LV-4033 Salacgriva
  Telephone   (371) 4071 408
  Fax   (371) 4071 407
  Web site

Last updated: 09/03/2005

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