Rare natural wonders at Lake Sīvers

In the summer and autumn seasons of 2014, a team of nature experts studied in detail several natural territories all over Latvia, with the most interesting discoveries found in and around Lake Sīvers. Here they found the largest cluster of Najas (Najas tenuissima) aquatic plants in the world.


In the research territory in and around the lake, 16 EU-protected habitats were determined, as well as 20 natural habitats protected under Latvian legislation.


Botanist Uvis Suško discovered 39 rare and/or protected plant species in and around Lake Sīvers in Latgale Province (eastern Latvia). Out of these plant species, the Najas tenuissima and Najas flexilis aquatic plants must be highlighted. Up until now, the rare Najas tenuissima aquatic plant was found to grow in only about 25 places in the world. This aquatic plant species was discovered in Lake Sīvers for the first time, and is believed to be the largest cluster of Najas tenuissima in the world. Meanwhile, the Najas flexilis aquatic plant is a rarity in Europe, and is known to grow in only about 25 places around the continent. Lake Sīvers is also believed to hold the largest cluster of Najas flexilis aquatic plants in Europe as well. Najas flexilis aquatic plants have become extinct in many parts of Europe over the past 100 to 150 years due to pollution and the degradation of eco-systems. Both of the rare Najas species have been included on the EU’s list of protected species.


After studying the eco-system in and around Lake Sīvers, the nature experts concluded that the lake is a true gem. Many other rare plant species were found on the lake’s shores and in its crystal clear waters, such as: Subularia aquatica, Littorella uniflora, Isoetes lacustris, Lobelia dortmanna, Myriophyllum alterniflorum, Callitriche hermaphroditica, Liparis loeselii and Gentiana cruciata.


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