Fauna of Polistovsky Reserve belongs to the European-Ob subregion of the European-Siberian region of the Palearctic subkingdom of the Holarctic (Boreal) kingdom (Abdurakhmanov, Lopatin, Ismailov, 2001). The fauna of the Reserve is characterized by peculiar specific features that distinguish it from other faunas.
The structure of the animal world of Polistovsky Reserve is also characterized by certain features. A low level of knowledge does not yet allow us to carry out an analysis of the fauna of the Reserve as a whole; it is possible only for individual groups, where the inventory is completely or almost finished. The fauna of the Reserve is rather specific.
On the one hand, the location of Polistovsky Reserve on the border of two natural zones - taiga and subtaiga - certainly leaves its mark and provides a variety of animals. In near-bog forests one can see hunting species of ungulates (roe deer, wild boar, and elk) and large carnivores (wolf, bear, lynx). Types of taiga origin are common here: Grey Owl, grouse, nutcracker. One can often meet here representatives of the fauna of deciduous forests - Nuthatch, Green Jeer, Goldfinch; there are even species from the Far East - White Woodpecker, Oriole, green Warbler.
On the other hand, about 250 thousands of hectares of bog of the largest European Polistovo-Lovatskaya bog system determine the identity and uniqueness of the fauna of Polistovsky Reserve. First of all, a wetland massif is unique by its avifauna. Here we may note a number of Arctic and Subarctic breeding species - Ptarmigan, Golden Plover, black-throated diver with species of southern forests - swift, nightjar, meadow stamp, and even species of steppes - Godwit and Field Lark. Water reservoir species, such as mallard, Gadwall and carrier, live in swamps near open landscapes - Lapwing, large and Whimbrel.
Compared with the surrounding landscape the bog fauna of Polistovsky Reserve has undergone anthropogenic impacts to a much lesser extent, due to a weak population of near-bog lands, rugged marshes and their low attractiveness to human. This is a place for nesting grounds of rare species of birds that had disappeared from most other areas of the Pskov region: Golden Eagle, Merlin, black-throated diver, white partridge, large Curlew, Golden Plover, and gray shrike.
At the same time one have to acknowledge an extremely uneven and weak current level of knowledge of the fauna of Polistovsky Reserve. Until now the study of reserve fauna covers only some groups of animals: terrestrial mammals, birds, and aquatic invertebrates. Bats, amphibians and reptiles, terrestrial invertebrates, including large class of insects remain virtually unexplored.