Mission Gallery - Country Map

National Geographic and WWF logos

Conservation Facts

Population: 2.4 million
Total Area: 64.589 km2
Population density: 37 per km2
National Parks: 4
“NATURA 2000” sites: 331
Largest Nature reserve: Gauja National Park 917.45 km2

Resident Photographers:

Visiting Photographers:

Diego Lopez

Latvia Galleries

There are only a very few countries in central and northern Europe that could offer a nature enthusiast as much natural serenity and as many pristine habitats as Latvia. Located in the transition zone of two bio-geographic regions, many visitors may return home with the impression they just spent their holidays in Europe’s biggest nature park.
If the Latvian Institute says they will be happy to export a good bunch of the country’s 80.000 beavers – if there only was an interested buyer – this gives a first indication of what amazing natural assets Latvia has on offer. More than 4.000 River otters, 10.000 pairs of White Stork, a couple of hundred wolves and lynx – these figures illustrate that many habitats in Latvia remain mostly untouched by man.
Take the 19.000 ha of Teici State Reserve as an example, the largest protected bog in the Baltic with breeding species like Cranes, Golden Plovers, Hen Harriers and many others, a mosaic of swamps, bog forests, lakes, fens and lush meadows with one of the lowest pollution rates of the continent and alive with corn-crakes, whinchats and many other marshland species that are endangered elsewhere in Europe.
Or take Gauja, Latvia’s longest river and a National Park where the waters on 452 km still run in their ancient bed.
44% of the country are covered by forests, mixed broadleaved and coniferous forests, dotted with more than 2.200 lakes, especially in the East of Latvia, adequately called “The Land of the Blue Lakes”. Such forests with plenty of old trees provide excellent breeding habitat for 10% of the World’s population of Black Storks and for 12% of the World’s population of the endangered Lesser-spotted Eagle.
The full extent of this Baltic wilderness unfolded to Wild Wonders of Europe photographer Diego López from Spain when he jumped on a small airplane and photographed the nature of Kemeri National Park from the air. We hope you will enjoy his view of the heart of the Baltic, of Latvia.