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Important Plant Areas of Estonia

Number of IPAs:109

IPA Area: 280,000 hectares

IPA biogeographical zone: Boreal

Estonia covers 45,000 km2

Meadow of wildflowers with water and forestry in background.

There is a total of 109 IPAs in Estonia, covering over 280,000 hectares, which are all located in the Boreal biogeographical zones.

Estonia covers just over 45,000 km2 in north-east Europe, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The country borders Russia and Latvia and has one biogeographical zone, the Boreal. Estonia’s natural and semi-natural vegetation consists mainly of forest, mires, grasslands and coastal habitats. The Alvar forests and Alvar meadows are characteristic habitat types of the north-western and western part of Estonia and the Baltic Islands.


Forests are the most frequent IPA habitat, followed by grassland, then mire, bog and fen habitats. Inland water habitats and many coastal habitats are well represented and there are four IPAs with marine habitats, including two IPAs which are 100% marine.

Land Use

Apart from nature conservation activities within protected areas, the most frequent land uses in IPAs are tourism and recreation, forestry, haymaking or mowing, grazing animals, and to a lesser extent hunting.


Forestry practices threaten almost half of IPAs. Recreation and tourist development is also a major threat. Abandonment and reduction of land management is a high or significant threat, followed by development (transport/infrastructure and urban), burning of vegetation and water management practices.

Further information

IPA data