The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was first signed on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. Known as the “Ramsar Convention”, it forms a framework for global conservation and sustainable use of all possible types of wetlands.

The Ramsar Convention defines wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres”.

The Czech Republic has 14 wetland areas listed in the common “List of Wetlands of International Importance”, and it is no wonder that the list includes RS (Ramsar Site) 1 Šumava Peat Bogs, listed in 1990. Together with the Krušné hory Peat Bogs and the Low Podyjí Wetlands, it ranks among the three largest in the republic (more than 10,000 hectares).

The Šumava Peat Bogs RS is a discontinuous complex of montaine and valley wetlands on peaty soils, having the character of tundra islands with very specific fauna and flora. They are home to numerous very rare species, many of which can be called glacial relicts. Worth mentioning are various rare sedges (Carex paupercula, C. pauciflora, C. limosa, C. chordorrhiza, C. diandra, etc.), carnivorous sundews (Drosera anglica, D. rotundifolia), and lesser twayblade (Neottia cordata), growing in bog spruce forests. A large quantity of invertebrates are represented by dragonflies (e.g. Aeschna subarctica, Somatochlora alpestris, etc.), butterflies (e.g. Pediasia truncatella, Colia palaeno, etc.), spiders, and the Natura 2000-important Ménétries ground beetle (Carabus menetriesi pacholei). Larger animals we cannot overlook include the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), but lately also the common crane (Grus grus). One of the most threatened animals in the Teplá Vltava is the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera).