Siekiant išsaugoti Nemuno deltos regiono kraštovaizdį, jo gamtinę ekosistemą bei kultūros paveldo vertybes 1992 m. įsteigtas Nemuno deltos regioninis parkas, kurio kraštovaizdis itin turtingas. The territory of the park includes the shallow bays of the Curonian Lagoon, the entire system of rivers and streams of the Nemunas delta, the old river lakes (grasshoppers), the Krokų lankos lake, the floodplain meadows of the lower Nemunas River, and the largest polder system in the region. Aukštumala Swamp and other wetlands, the largest island in Lithuania, Rusnė Island (46 km), and the Cape Ventė peninsula.


The Nemunas Delta begins 48 km from the mouth (below Tilžė), where the Nemunas branches into the Rusnė and Gilia branches. The Rusnė branches into the Atmata and the Skirvytė 13 km from its mouth (near Rusnė Island). The Nemunas Delta plain is still bordered by the branches of the Nemunas River and the deltas of the Minija, Šyša, Tenenis, Leite and other rivers adjacent to the Nemunas Delta. As the Nemunas estuary continues to be covered by sediment, the Nemunas delta is slowly widening and moving towards the Curonian Lagoon.
The landscape of the delta rivers (Minija, Atmata, Skirvytė, Rusnė, etc.) and the biodiversity of the area can be explored by boat from Šilutė, Rusnė, Minija or Ventė.
A lookout tower is located on the western shore of the lake (on the road to the village of Minijos (Mingė)), from which visitors can observe the landscape of this unique lake in Lithuania and the rich birdlife.
The Nemunas Delta is one of the few places in Lithuania and Europe where large swamp deciduous forests – habitats of European importance – can still be seen when flooded. The forest and wetland complexes are home to many rare bird species protected in Lithuania and the European Union (black stork, golden eagle, whooping crane, great spotted owl, etc.). One of the most important breeding sites for the globally threatened species, the Pillar-billed Woodpecker, has been discovered in the meadows near Žalgiri Forest.
The flooded area covers an area of about 400 km². The coast is characterised by spring and autumn-winter floods. Flooding usually occurs in spring, when the Nemunas River flows out of its banks. Spring flooding in the Lower Nemunas starts in late March and peaks 6-8 days after the river leaves its bed. Spilled water and ice destroy dykes, submerge settlements, erode roads and quays, and litter fertile land. Every year, floods cause a lot of damage. More than 1500 people are flooded during major floods, and the flood approaches the outskirts of Šilutė town.


The Nemunas Delta and its surrounding areas are characterised by a great diversity of habitats and flora and fauna. More than 600 species of flowering plants have been recorded in the Regional Park, including 25 rare and endangered species listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book. The endangered Aquatic Flamingo, a very rare species in Lithuania, was found in the Nemunas Delta. The wet meadows and sandy beaches surrounding the delta are particularly valuable for species found only in the coastal region: the salt caterpillar, the seaside sotvar, the seaside fern and others. More than 20 habitat types of European importance have been identified in the Delta (estuaries, mudflats, lagoons, sandbanks, seasonal flood meadows and forests, swampy deciduous forests, raised bogs, intermediate wetlands, etc.).
Among the many invertebrate species living in the delta, there are rare molluscs and insect species listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book (the oval conch, the great royal dragonfly, Green dragonfly, Green dragonfly, Yellow-legged dragonfly, Armadillo, Brass-headed dragonfly, Pallas’s starling, Machaon, Blood-eyed blue, Meadow satyr, etc.).

The waters of the Nemunas Delta contain around 50 species of fish. The Nemunas Delta and the adjacent Curonian Lagoon are home to several rare fish species listed in Lithuania’s Red Data Book: the sea lamprey, salmon and wrasse. The waters of the Nemunas Delta are also home to several species of fish that are rare in Europe: the river lamprey and the small lamprey, the salmon, the salad, the goatfish, the cartouche, the peregrine falcon and the catfish. The Lower Nemunas River is the most important migratory route in Lithuania for many species of passing fish (e.g. lamprey, salmon, sea bream, whitefish, terns, sturgeon, etc.). The Delta is a spawning ground for stints, stints, catfish and bream. Pike, sturgeon, bream, pikeperch, bream and boar spawn in the Delta’s oxbow lakes and tidal lakes. The Nemunas Delta has always been known as a fishing area. It is one of the most fishy places in the Baltic region. Amateur fishing in the Nemunas Delta Regional Park is allowed in accordance with the rules for amateur fishing. Only sturgeon migrating from the Curonian Lagoon to the rivers can be fished during the spawning season. Ice fishing for sturgeon in the Curonian Lagoon is extremely popular and attracts thousands of amateur fishermen every year.

The Delta’s marshes and waters are home to a wide range of amphibians and reptiles, including the red-bellied hammerhead shrew and the reed toad, both rare and protected in Lithuania. The common snakehead can be seen in many parts of the Delta, and the common viper, commonly known as the marguerite snake, is a common sight in the marshes.
The Nemunas Delta Regional Park is home to 50 species of mammals, 14 of which are listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book. The area is home to several rare European bat species, birch tits and marmots, and otters in streams and lakes. In many parts of the Delta, you can see beaver lodges, which are very abundant here. The forests and wetlands of the Delta are the most important habitat for moose in the Lithuanian Baltic Sea Region. Several wolf families live throughout the entire Nemunas Delta (including the Russian part of the Delta).
But the Nemunas Delta is best known as a bird kingdom.

More than 300 bird species have been recorded in the Nemunas Delta. About 180 species of birds breed here. The Delta and its surrounding flooded meadows, marshes and wet forests are the most important breeding sites for many rare and endangered bird species in Lithuania. The 58 bird species breeding in the Nemunas Delta Regional Park are listed in the Lithuanian Red Data Book, and 54 species are included in the list of the most protected birds in the European Union. This unique natural area is home to globally threatened species of waterfowl and wetland birds, such as the Eurasian warbler, the Eurasian warbler, and the brown warbler, which has been spotted during breeding. The Nemunas Delta is the most important breeding ground for many rare bird species in Lithuania (the black-necked crab, the great bustard, the greylag goose, the cave duck, the spoon-billed duck, the sea eagle, the osprey, the osprey, the sea bream, the lapwing, the black-breasted stilt, the least tern, the black tern, the black tern, the osprey, the great ape, the moustachioed kingfisher, and others).

The Nemunas Delta Regional Park is one of Europe’s most important sites for migratory waterbirds.
This unique area is home to the internationally important migratory eared grebes, great white herons, song swans, little swans, white-fronted waders, greylag, white-fronted and greylag and greylag geese, and common eider, resting and feeding areas for grey, pintail, spoon-billed, brown-headed and tufted ducks, waders, great and lesser black-backed gulls, common and lesser spotted gulls, terns, cranes, little gulls, black terns, and other waterbirds.

The flooded meadows of the Regional Park are one of Europe’s most important resting places for swans. Every year between March and April, up to 4,000 of Europe’s tundra-nesting swans congregate there, and the “trumpeting” of their cries can be heard in many parts of the Delta. The wet meadows surrounding the delta are one of Europe’s most important resting places for white-fronted and greylag geese. During high spring tides, huge flocks of White-fronted Geese can be seen there, staying on their way to breeding sites on the Arctic tundra, where up to 100,000 birds have been counted. During spring migration in the Delta, the largest flocks of brown-headed and striped guillemots, waders, teal, pintails, pintails and grey ducks, as well as pochards, are regularly recorded in Lithuania.
The shallows, sandy islands and surrounding wet meadows of the Delta are among the most important resting places for migratory seabirds in the Baltic region. In recent years, very large numbers of pampas (up to 11,000 birds), lapwings (up to 8,000), black-breasted chat (up to 500) and other passerines have been observed there.
In late summer (July-August), flocks of Black Terns can be observed in the Delta. This is the only place in Lithuania where up to 15,000 of these rare birds gather every year.

The Nemunas Delta is one of Europe’s most important resting places for migratory brown and mallard ducks. In recent years, around 40,000 Brown-headed Ducks and up to 50,000 Tufted Ducks have been observed there during the autumn migration.
1993 m. The Nemunas Delta Regional Park is recognised as an internationally important site for migratory birds under the Ramsar Convention, and in 2004 it was designated as a Site of International Importance for Migratory Birds. The park is part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network of protected natural areas.

The largest conservation programme of the United Nations Environment Programme and other international environmental organisations for waterbirds and their key habitats, “Wings over Waters”, is being implemented in the Nemunas Delta Regional Park. The aim of the programme is to conserve the most important wintering and resting sites for migratory waterbirds along their migration route in the Western Palearctic (including the Nemunas Delta).
In spring, huge flocks of migratory waterbirds attract observers. The largest flocks of migrating swans, geese and ducks in the Nemunas Delta in March – April can be observed in flooded meadows in the Rupkalviai and Žalgiri Ornithological Reserves (near the road Šilutė – Rusnė), in the Sausgalviai Ornithological Reserve (near the village of Sausgalviai), in the southern part of the island of Rusnė, in the Minijos Senvaga Botanical – Zoological Reserve and in other parts of the Delta.
In August-October, large flocks of migratory waterbirds can be observed in the Kintai fish ponds, from the viewpoints and observation towers installed for birdwatchers at the Krokų Lanka Lake, Ventė Rage and Rusnė Island, and at the Aukštumala and Pakalnė birding trails. However, the greatest diversity of winged birds can be seen by boat at Kniaupas Bay and Lake Krokų Lanka, and on the sandy islands that have formed at the mouth of the Atmata River.
In October, birdwatchers are invited to the annual birdwatching event in the Pamari region and to the traditional Bird Rally (birdwatching competitions for amateurs and professionals).

Visitors are invited to get acquainted with bird migration at the Ventė Rags Ornithological Station of the Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum. The ornithological station has a small museum where you can learn about the history of bird ringing, bird migration studies and the unique world of the winged birds of the Nemunas delta. Ventė Ragas is a very important place for migratory birds. Sometimes up to 300,000 birds a day pass through Ventė Raga. 1929 m. Prof. T. Ivanauskas established the Ventė Rags bird ringing station. It is one of the oldest stations in the world. In recent decades, the ornithological station has been equipped with the world’s largest bird traps (60 m wide and 25 m high) and modern zigzag traps. The author of these traps is Leonas Jezerskas, a long-time director of the ornithological station. Since its establishment, the Ventė Rags Ornithological Station has recorded a total of about 2 million bird sightings of 226 species. More than 95% of all ringed birds were small passerines (starlings, great tits, swallows, etc.). In recent years, about 300-400 reports of birds ringing at the ornithological station have been received annually from various European, Asian and African countries.

Nemunas Delta Regional Park information

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