2023 was good year for rare species sightings in Latvia

Last year, "Latvian State Forests" (LVM) recorded 6,295 new localities of rare and specially protected plant, fungi, lichen, invertebrate, and vertebrate species in the "GEO" database, according to information published by LVM.

The company's representatives said that the LVM database lists more than 82,700 localities of rare and protected species. 

Last year, LVM environmental experts found the first site of the specially protected velvety shield-cap (Pluteus umbrosus) in Latgale, in a habitat of European Union (EU) importance in South Latgale, LVM representatives said. There are currently slightly more than 20 known localities of the velvety shield-cap in Latvia.

The company's representatives mention that in 2023, the specially protected plant, rare in Latvia, the woolly buttercup (Ranunculus lanuginosus), were observed much more frequently in LVM forests. Last year, 181 sites of this species were recorded, mainly in the forests of South Kurzeme and South Latgale, bringing the total number of sites to 294.

Last year, the LVM database also recorded the highest number of mosses. Positive trends can also be observed in the breeding dynamics of large birds of prey. Last year, the number of nesting pairs of the white-tailed eagle population in LVM-managed areas continued to increase. In total, white-tailed eagles inhabited 108 territories in Latvia, 41 territories in the Southern Kurzeme region, which is the highest number in Latvia. The Southern Kurzeme region also had the highest number of successful golden white-tailed nests, with 26.

The company's representatives stress that 2023 was notable for the fact that two young eagles were found in one of the protected white-tailed eagle nests, which is only the eighth case of two young eagles in one nest since 2001.

In order to protect the nesting sites of protected bird species, LVM encourages the establishment of new micro-reserves.

The company's representatives said that since 2011 the results of environmental monitoring have been summarised in the annual LVM Environmental Report, which is part of the forest management plan and can be consulted on the LVM website.

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