RÄPINA POLDER

Räpina polder is located in Põlvamaa County, next to Lake Lämmijärv. The named territory is the biggest (1408.5 ha) polder object in Estonia and the only polder in Põlvamaa County. Initiation of Räpina polder constructions began with small dispersal situated land pieces already in the fall of 1967 and most of the territory was planned to be used as a grassland for two big farms as a food supply.
In order to provide a stable water level, an extensive irrigation system was built with total length of about 80 kilometers. Polder is separated from Lake Lämmijärv withby 10 kilometers long dike.
Population density in Räpina polder area is very low and scattered. There are only few farms and some buildings that belong to Raigla farm located on the territory.

Räpina polder is an internationally recognized and important bird area, where many endangered and protected species nest and rest during migration periods. From the nature protective aspects the most important nesting birds are the Corn Crake (Crex crex), the Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) and the Black-Headed Gull (Larus minutus), for whom Räpina polder is one of the best nesting areas in Estonia. Most important migrating species are the Crane (Grus grus) and the Great White-Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons). Polder is also necessary for water birds for example as a resting and nesting area for Snipes. During the migration periods about 1.5 million birds pass through the region. This area is the most important rendezvous for the migrants in the whole of Eastern-Estonia. In order to preserve and to protect these precious nesting places, the environmental service of County Põlvamaa started a LIFE Nature Project in 2003.