About one third of the country of Belarus is covered with mixed deciduous and coniferous forests that are home to about six classes and forty-eight species of mammals. These animals live in forests that contain pine, spruce, oak, birch, alder, and ash trees.
Altogether, in Belarus there are approximately 76 species of mammals, 309 bird species, 12 species of amphibian and 7 species of reptiles. Belarusian rivers and lakes contain 58 species of fish and 3 species of lampreys. There are more than 20 thousand rivers and creeks and about 11 thousand lakes.
Human hunters invade wildlife regions in Belarus looking for the 21 species of mammals and 30 species of birds residing in the forests, meadows and swamps. The animals hunted include elk, wild boars
, deer, roe deer, hares, beavers, wolves, fox, swamp beavers, minks, American pine martens, waterfowl and grouse.
In addition to hunting, deforestation and natural disasters contribute to the endangerment of many species of Belarusian wildlife. In 1925, the first wildlife reserve, Bereza State Wildlife Reserve, was established in 1925 to protect many endangered plants and animals. Since then other conservation parks and nature reserves were created. Belarus contains about 99 national and 428 regional wildlife sanctuaries to protect more than 180 animal species.
Other animals residing in Belarus include the European bison, Eurasian lynx
, weasels, badgers, ermine
, polecats, bears, otters, bats, Bobak marmot
, various species of mice, and Russian flying squirrels. Birds include doves, kestrels
, wrens, bullfinches, and woodpeckers.
Much of the Belarusian terrain is predominantly low flat land with the average height above sea level measuring 160 meters. Peat bogs and marshland comprise approximately 25 percent of the land. Belarusian winters are mild and humid, the summers are warm, and there is considerable rainfall in the fall. The average temperature in January is from ' 4 degrees Celsius to ' 8 degrees Celsius. In July, it is from 17 degrees Celsius to 19 degrees Celsius.