Restoration of Bittern habitats in two coastal lakes in Latvia (LIFE COASTLAKE)

Project passport
Project Duration
01.09.2013. – 31.08.2017.
Project Beneficiary
Latvian Fund for Nature
Project Partners

Engure Nature Park Fondation, Pasaules Dabas fonds  

Project Funding
European Union LIFE+ program, Latvian Environmental Protection Fund
Project Location

Latvia

Project Manager
Ģirts Strazdiņš
Project Co-ordinator
Project Contact Information
Project Phone
+371 67830999
Project Email
girts.strazdins@ldf.lv
Project Address
Vilandes st. 3-7 Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Mājas lapa

Project long term objective: to improve the conservation status of the Bittern Botaurus stellaris in Latvia and EU according to the framework for species conservation set by EU Species Action plan.

Project short term objectives:
  • To improve the conservation status of Bittern and improve ecosystem functions in two most important coastal lakes for the species – Lake Engure Natura 2000 site and Lake Pape Natura 2000 site.
  • To reduce the impact of direct and indirect threats on Bittern population by securing sustainable lake habitat management including improvements to existing and restoring of currently degraded breeding and feeding sites for Bittern.
  • To monitor and evaluate the effects of the proposed lake habitat restoration measures on the species during the project and to feed this information into future site management plans and species management recommendations (guidelines).
  • To establish the demonstration area for species conservation in Lake Engure in order to eliminate gaps in knowledge about the habitat requirements for Bittern among the nature conservationists. To provide the information about the species requirements, to generate the widely applicable and regionally tested habitat restoration methods and thus set the scene for further Bittern conservation actions in Latvia and Boreal region.
  • To enhance the public understanding of the ecological, economic and social values of the coastal wetlands via explaining the ecosystem functions and services concept and raise support for the conservation of wetland dependent species such as Bittern. To support the integration of nature conservation concerns into the business sector.
Project Activities: 
A. Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans
 
C. Concrete conservation actions
 
D. Monitoring of the impact of the project actions
 
E. Public awareness and dissemination of results
E.4. Websites
 
F. Overall project operation and monitoring of the project progress
F.1. Project management
F.2. After LIFE conservation plan
F.3. Audit
F.4. Networking with other LIFE+ or non LIFE projects
A.
Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans
A.1.
A.2.
  • Mapping of the reed cover done in 2014 with the help of remote sensing technologies (reed distribution, density and biomass productivity categories are developed).
  • Evaluation of sediment layer is done in 2014, geo-referenced spatial data of sediment layer is obtained.
A.3.
  • Updated management plan for the Lake Pape Nature park - separate management plan of Botaurus stellaris habitat protection and conservation in the Nature park “Pape” lake.
C.
Concrete conservation actions
C.1.
  • Restoration works in Lake Engure started in August 2014. In the selected area we have constructed the complex consisting of shallow and deeper ditches with sloping edges and patches of open water in different sizes that are mixed with reed stands. The progress of the works up to 30.09.2015.
C.2.
  • Technical planning of this action started at the end of 2015. Practical management works will start after the bird nesting season – in the middle of July 2016 and will be completed in December the same year.
C.3.
  • The action in Lake Pape started in begining of 2015 and until the end of September 121 ha of open water patches are constructed and 23.8 ha of all reeds and bushes are removed from the islands. The progress of the works up to 30.09.2015.
D.
Monitoring of the impact of the project actions
D.1.
E.
Public awerness and dissemination of results
E.1.
E.2.
  • 2500 visitor maps of Lake Engure were produced and distributed in Regional tourism information centres.
  • Three work camps organized in Lake Engure Nature Park (one in 2015, two - in 2016).
  • 7 school excursions (210 participants) organized in Lake Engure Nature Park in 2016.
  • 14 school events (239 participants) took place on floating monitoring platform in Lake Engure in 2015-2017.
  • One meeting with the reed cutter was organized in 2016. 
  • Two local meetings organized in 2016 - in June with Mērsrags Municipality and in August with Engure Municipality.
E.3.
  • Two media events were organized on 22.12.2014 and 16.11.2015.
  • Mobile application for Android and iOS operating systems developed for the visitors of Nature Park Pape.
  • Two meetings with the reed cutter were organized in 2014-2015.
  • Two reed cutting season assessment meetings with local reed cutters were organized in 2016.
E.4.
E.5.
  • 38 notice boards are developed, printed and set up:
    - 15 (plus 15 for replacement) small information boards in nature park “Lake Pape”;
    - 15 small information boards in nature park “Lake Engure”;
    - 8 large information boards in both nature parks (6 in Engure, 2 in Pape).