The country’s flora is represented by forests, meadows, swamps, aquatic vegetation and shrubs. Belarus is situated in a mixed vegetation zone marked by transition from the Eurasian mixed coniferous-forest zone to the European broad-leaved forest zone adjoining the forest-steppe zone. There are more than 100 types of trees and shrubs in Belarus.
Forest is the predominant vegetation type in Belarus. Forests cover 39.8 % of the country’s territory. Swamps occupy 1.7 million hectares of Belarus. They are mostly found in Brest and Minsk regions.
Conifer forests: spruce (the southern boundary of natural spread of spruce comes along the river of Pripyat), pine tree.
Broad-leaved forests: oak, hornbeam, maple, ash, linden.
Small-leaved forest: birch, aspen, willow, alder.
Meadow vegetation: bluegrass, herd grass, cocks’s-foot grass, fescue, sedge etc.
Swamp vegetation: mosses, sedge, cranberry, rush, calamus, spike rush.
There are 76 species of mammals, 309 species of birds, 12 species of amphibia, 7 species of reptiles, including one species of turtles, three species of snakes and three species of lizards. There are 58 species of fish and three species of lampreys found in Belarusian rivers and lakes.
Objects of hunting are represented by 21 species of mammals and 30 species of birds. Elk, boar, deer, roe, hare, beaver, wolf, fox, swamp beaver, mink, American pine marten, waterfowl, grouse and capercaillie are among them.
Animals: elk, roe, hare, squirrel, bear, wild boar, marten, fox, wolf, weasel, badger, lynx, ermine, hedgehog, mole, common shrew, rodents, beaver, beaver-rat, mink, otter etc.
Birds: black woodpecker, titmouse, bullfinch, crane, black and white storks, hazel grouse, black-cock, thrush, cuckoo, hawk, vulture.
Reptiles: viper, adder, smooth snake, lizards.
Fishes: dace, tench, crucian carp, pike, bream, orfe, catfish, perch, eel.
There are 20.8 thousand rivers and streams in Belarus with the total length of 91 thousand kilometres, and about 11 thousand lakes, including 470 lakes with the area exceeding 0.5 km2 each. More than half of the water resources are belong to Black Sea basin, the rest belongs to the Baltic Sea basin.
More than 145 artificial lakes have been created in Belarus. The most important is the Viliya Reservoir (75 km2).
- Largest rivers of Belarus:
- Dnieper: total length of 2145 km, Belarusian part – 690 km;
- Zapadnaya Dvina: total length of 1020 km, Belarusian part – 328 km;
- Neman: total length of 937 km, Belarusian part — 459 km;
- Zapadnyy Bug: total length of 831 km, Belarusian part — 169 km;
- Pripyat: total length of 761 km, Belarusian part – 495 km.
- Largest lakes of Belarus:
- Naroch: water surface area – 79.6 sq. km, max. depth – 24.8 m;
- Osveiskoe: water surface area – 52.8 sq. km, max. depth – 7.5 m;
- Chervonoe: water surface area – 40.3 sq. km, max. depth – 2.9 m;
- Lukomskoe: water surface area – 37.7 sq. km, max. depth – 11.5 m;
- Dryviaty: water surface area – 36.1 sq. km, max. depth – 12 m.
About 15 % of the total land area is devoted to pastureland: cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens. A lot of tons of meat are produced: beef and veal, poultry, pork, and other meats.
Belarus fabricates more dairy products than any other former Soviet republic except Russia: milk, butter, ghee, cheese, eggs, honey.