Meet the animal, bird... and moss of the year!

As the animal of the year 2016 was named Wednesday, LSM presents an aggregated version of the living things that are to be especially honored this year in Latvia.

Meet the things of the year below.

Animal of the year

The European badger (Meles meles) has been named as the animal of the year 2016 in Latvia, the Latvian Nature Museum announced Wednesday. 

Even though the European badger isn't a threatened species, it is a prominent character in children's books - which doubtless lends to its importance.

There are about 13,800 European badgers in Latvia, though the animals are nocturnal meaning they seldom cross paths with humans.

A stand dedicated to the common predator has been set up at the Latvian Nature Museum. 

Bird of the year

The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) was pronounced the bird of the year in 2016 by the Latvian Ornithology Association. 

It is the most common of the nine woodpecker species in Latvia. Its nest holes prove useful not only to the woodpeckers themselves, but also to tits and other forest life.

Plant of the year

The marsh grass of Parnassus (Parnassia palustris) is a poisonous plant that flowers in late July and lasts until September.

The plant, reaching 35 centimeters in height, has seen its habitats shrink due to melioration and a reduction in grassland territory. Latvian Botanists' Association picked the flower to be honored in 2016.

Moss of the year

In 2016, a moss was made a 'something' of the year for the first time.

The knights plume moss is a common type of moss, reaching up to 10 centimeters in height. There are about 500 species of moss in Latvia. It was pronounced the moss of the year by the Latvian Botanists' Association. 

Habitat of the year

Reeds have been pronounced the habitat of the year, as these fascinating plants growing on lakesides form a welcome home to varieties of bird, fish, amphibian and invertebrate. 

It was pronounced the habitat of the year by the Latvian Nature Fund. 

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