Alam-Pedja Nature reserve celebrates 20th birthday


On February 17th Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve celebrated its 20th birthday. The Environmental Board (Keskkonnaamet) together with the interest groups related to the area and the advisory council that brings together individuals will be arranging different activities to introduce the nature reserve during the whole celebratory year – thematic nature evenings, various competitions and work camps. The new protection management plan for the area will be completed.
On February 17th, 1994, the borders of the nature reserve were approved through the  Government regulation no. 61, based on the regulations for the Adavare, Pikknurme, Laeva, Konguta and Dubrovski forest districts. Since June 17th 1997 Alam-Pedja  is a wetland area of international importance (a so called Ramsar area) and from 2004 onwards a bird and nature reserve area in the Pan-European network of protected areas, Natura 2000.  

Alam-Pedja is a unique complex of bogs, forests and meadows in the upper reaches of river Emajõgi in the ancient Võrtsjärv basin where the waters flowing down from the Pandivere highlands running along the Pedja and Põltsamaa river come together. The initial area of 26 000 hectares has by now increased to nearly 34 400 hectares. A large part of the territory was an exercise area for the USSR army for nearly fifty years before the creation of the nature protection area.  

The area has no through-going roads and there are less than 10 permanent residents. In contrast nearly all eagle species in Estonia are present in Alam-Pedja. In total about 200 bird species have been recorded here, more than 150 of them breeding. In addition there are 485 vascular plant species, 184 mosses, 680 fungi, 272 lichen, 22 mollusc, 32 dragonfly, 410 large butterfly, 35 fish and 11 amphibian species. Moreover there are more than 100 Coleoptera, 2 reptilian and 43 mammal species. Over 90% of the reserve area comprises the 19 different habitats of the nature directive.    

A number of exciting activities will be taking place in the birthday year. Detailed information about them is on the Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve website:  

The themes related to the nature reserve will also be presented on the Looduskalender web site:    

More information Kaili Viilma

Estonian environmental board; responsible for conservation, Jõgeva-Tartu region