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About Latvia

About Latvia = About nature

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Latvia's nature is remarkable for its high biodiversity. The fact, that territory is located in boreo-nemoral area, determines presence of bird species from very distinctive regions - from those you can find in the south to typical of north species. For example - here is easily seen European Roller as well as Ural Owl. You can visit places where all three Marsh Terns - Black, White-winged and Whiskered - are present at same time. In Europe there is 5 species of grebes. In Latvia it is possible to see all five in a single day!

 

Forests - pinewoods, mixed forests, and old broadleaf forests cover more than a half of the territory of Latvia. Our guides knows and are ready to show you some excellent virgin forests with wide variety of woodpeckers, owls and list of grouses.

 

Bogs and marshes - total area 5500 square kilometres, natural and flood-land meadows, occupy significant part of  the country. And we know few meadows where are NOT corncrakes (but really just a few). In a proper time of the year there are meadows with up to 38 000 water birds at same time.

 

Humid climate, as well as geological structure of the soil offers wide forked net of rivers. It is characterised by several big rivers and thousands of smaller ones. The total overall length of not drained, untransformed rivers is 37 507 kilometres!!

 

Wild Wonders of Europe writes about Latvia...

 

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There are only a very few countries in central and northern Europe that could offer a nature enthusiast as much natural serenity and as many pristine habitats as Latvia. Located in the transition zone of two bio-geographic regions, many visitors may return home with the impression they just spent their holidays in Europe’s biggest nature park.


If the Latvian Institute says they will be happy to export a good bunch of the country’s 80.000 beavers – if there only was an interested buyer – this gives a first indication of what amazing natural assets Latvia has on offer. More than 4.000 River otters, 10.000 pairs of White Stork, a couple of hundred wolves and lynx – these figures illustrate that many habitats in Latvia remain mostly untouched by man.


Take the 19.000 ha of Teici State Reserve as an example, the largest protected bog in the Baltic with breeding species like Cranes, Golden Plovers, Hen Harriers and many others, a mosaic of swamps, bog forests, lakes, fens and lush meadows with one of the lowest pollution rates of the continent and alive with corn-crakes, whinchats and many other marshland species that are endangered elsewhere in Europe. Or take Gauja, Latvia’s longest river and a National Park where the waters on 452 km still run in their ancient bed.


44% of the country are covered by forests, mixed broadleaved and coniferous forests, dotted with more than 2.200 lakes, especially in the East of Latvia, adequately called “The Land of the Blue Lakes”. Such forests with plenty of old trees provide excellent breeding habitat for 10% of the World’s population of Black Storks and for 12% of the World’s population of the endangered Lesser-spotted Eagle.

 

The Birds Highlights


Latvia is located on the way of one of the world's main migration paths of the birds. Wherewith during migration period a big concentration of the birds travelling through the country is seen here, and there are excellent opportunities for birdwatching.

 

Lesser spotted eagle in meadow
Photo: V.Pranks
You could have luck and see here such an uncommonly seen birds as Terek Sandpiper and Marsh Sandpiper. In Latvia there is also one of the biggest in the world population of the Lesser Spotted Eagles - approximately 3000 nesting couples.

We have to remark that all the new species registered in Latvia during the last year, such as the Booted Eagle, the Slaty-backed Gull, the Steppe Eagle and the Cattle Egret had been noticed exactly by foreign birdwatchers.

 

Travel safely! Check your choise in oficial tour operator data base http://tato.em.gov.lv/

 

Total area of Latvia is 64 589 square kilometres. Population ~  2 319 000

Latvia divides into four regions - Kurzeme, Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale.

Capital - Rīga.

 

Currency - Latvian lats - LVL (Ls).

Exchange rate set by the Bank of Latvia is 1 LVL = 1,42 EUR or 1 EUR = 0,7028 LVL

International dialing code for Latvia +371 ... (number) or 00 371 ... (number)

Calling for emergency assistance - 112


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