Results of the project

This following are the main results of the “LIFE MagniDucatusAcrola” project.

1. Young Nature Rangers Platform adapted for Belarus

The Young Nature Rangers Platform is now available for Belorussian pupils. It is available online via http://natureforkids.by. The first 24 tasks have been prepared.

2. Nature walking trail in Zvaniec fenmire is under development

The nature trail construction project has been developed and the tender for construction services has been announced. The trail will not only present the story of Aquatic warbler and it‘s neighbours, but also will offer interactive elements for visitor engagement. 

3. Habitat restoration works continues in Zvaniec fenmire

Reeds were mowed in the area of 200 ha while bushes were cut in the area of 300 ha. The territory was also prepared for controlled burning in the winter. Realisation of construction project for optimization of the hydrological regime in the Zvanets fen mire is implemented by 30 %. It is planned to complete all works till the end of 2019.

4. Preparatory habitat restoration works implemented in Dokudovskoe mire

During the realisation of the engineering project soil surface was prepared for sedge seeding in the next year in the area of 70 ha. Cascade of dams on drainage channels was built, which allowed to swamp 771 hectares of  extracted parts of the Dokudovskoe peat deposit.

5. All documentation for the habitat restoration in Belarus is prepared

For the restoration of Dokudovskoje wetland the scientific justification and engineering project for the rewetting of the extracted parts of the peat deposit prepared. For Zvanets and Servech fenmires environmental impact assessments and engineering projects for the proposed activity to optimise the hydrological regime was implemented.

 

6. Water sluice is being built in Šyša polder

In 2019 the intensive construction works have started in Šyša polder. The water sluice that will ensure the optimal water level control for both – the aquatic warbler and the farmers is being built.

7. Marketing of the production of the biomass processing facility was started

Up until now, direct marketing measures have been applied. Production samples have been welcomed by several Scandinavian customers. The products are already being packed in special demo bags. The brands of the biomass processing facility “Nine voices” and animal bedding”Hygge pellet” created.

8. Video diary about aquatic warbler translocation in 2019 created

In total, 26 video series and lives were created in Lithuanian. During the first 5 months, almost 28 000 people audience watched those videos. 22 series were translated in English.

9. 100 % survival rate was achieved during 2019 Aquatic warbler translocation

Another 50 Aquatic warbler chicks were translocated from Belarus to Lithuania in 2019. Biologists have managed to raise and release all of the chicks.

 

10. 2018 translocation of Aquatic warblers - effective

In 2018, 49 Aquatic warbler chicks were translocated from Belarus to Lithuania (Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve) successfully raised and released. In 2019 11 (22%) birds, who returned from Africa to the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve, were observed. This rate even exceeds the natural return rate of first-year chicks (20%). During the bird counting ornithologists also observed the translocated females, who were nesting. This shows that the world’s first translocation of Aquatic warblers is not only successful, but also effective.

 

11. 3 public events were organized

In the summer of 2019 the Cafe Scientifique discussion “Unique biologists discovery near you – translocation of Aquatic warblers” hosted in Alytus, visitor’s day “Visiting the Aquatic warblers” in Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve and Aquatic warbler welcome party in Servech. A total of 130 people attended the events.

  

12. Farmers are informed about Aquatic warblers, that are nesting in their fields

In 2019, we again visited farmers in whose fields Aquatic warblers are nesting, negotiated the mowing terms and encouraged them to declare their fields for special payments. We visited about 20 farmers, many of them agreed to postpone the mowing at least for a while, some of them

 

13. Prescribed burning was carried out in the Zvaniec swamp, Belarus

During favourable conditions, on February 7th a prescribed burning was carried out in the world’s largest Aquatic warbler’s habitat in the Zvaniec swamp. This is one of the measures to improve the conditions of Aquatic warbler’s habitats. About 3000 rare singing males are found in the Zvaniec area. The prescribed burning was carried out on an area of 500 ha.

14. The advertising campaign of new platform for young nature rangers takes place in Lithuania

At the end of 2018 the advertising campaign of new platform for young nature rangers gamtosreindzeris.lt started. In the streets of 6 biggest cities of Lithuania special posters can be seen, information about the platform is distributed via media and other channels.

15. Habitat restoration works took place in 75 % targeted project territories in Lithuania and 300 ha in Belarus

In the end of 2018 habitat restoration works (cut of bush and reed, biomass removal) took place in 75% of the targeted project areas surface in Lithuania. Overall surface affected by habitat restoration now is 283 ha. In Belarus the works have just started. In Servech wetland bush removal took place in the territory of 300 ha.

16. Report on Candidate Sites for extending “Stepping Stone” Habitat Network of Aquatic Warbler breeding range in Lithuania and Belarus” was prepared

In the analytic report that was developed at the end of 2018, we provide key information on selected sites, which will later be used in preparation of a long-term strategy for establishing a coherent network of stepping stone habitats with the aim to ensure ecological connectivity of existing local breeding populations of Aquatic Warbler.

17. Baseline monitoring report finalised

In 2018 the report was finalised. It is a basis report to assess the impact of project activities.

18. Calendar for 2018 released

This bilingual calendar (Lithuanian and Belarussian) presents one of the most remarkable results of 2018 from our project – Aquatic warbler translocation, which till now is implemented very successfully. In the calendar the life cycle of the Aquatic Warbler is marked and a brief presentation of the project offered.

19. Biomass processing facility opened in Dreverna

On 5 October 2018, a new biomass processing facility was opened up in Dreverna. Here the grass coming from fields that are important for Aquatic warbler and other birds will be recycled into grass pallets.

  

20. Project website updated

In July of 2018, a new professional project webpage, which will be integrated into the website of project coordinating organization, was created. This solution will increase the visitor flow, ensure the maintenance and technical updating in the future.

»

21. Special multimedia portal created about Aquatic Warbler Translocation

At the end of September 2018 a special multimedia story about Aquatic Warbler transfer from Belarus to Lithuania in the one of the most popular news portals in Lithuania (15min.lt) was released. 15min.lt team traveled together with naturalists to Belarus, accompanied them on their way to Žuvintas and attended the remaining process of translocation. Get to know this uniques story at 15min.lt multimedia story.

22. The development of the Young Nature Rangers Platform has begun

In the summer of 2018, intense work began on development of a web platform for Young Nature Rangers, in which children could find and carry out various tasks about nature as well as receive badges. It is expected that in the future this platform will become an integral part of formal as well as informal environmental education.
  

23. 3 events for children in Belarus inspired children

In June-July 2018, 3 small-scale events with interactive educational activities for children were organized in Minks, Belarus. Children were very active and engaged. After those events one girl sent us her drawing with her designed dress inspired by Aquatic Warbler.

24. Farmers were informed about Aquatic Warblers breeding in their fields

In June of 2018, after the first monitoring of Aquatic warblers, the project team visited farmers who have these rare birds breeding on their land this year. The team negotiated with farmers about mowing terms and encouraged them to declare those plots for special agri-environmental payments.

25. Aquatic Warbler translocation implemented

In the beginning of June of 2018, 50 Aquatic Warbler chicks from Belarus were brought to the Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve, Lithuania. Read the translocation programme.

26. The project areas are equipped with info stands

In Spring of 2018 information stands are being built in the project sites informing tourists and locals about nature values of the sites and the project activities there.

27. A supplement to the water level management study was prepared

In the summer of 2018,  the study of water level management for Šyša and Sausgalviai polders was supplemented by additional chapters, providing concrete proposals and calculations based on the results of negotiations with farmers.

28. The second welcoming event was held

In 2018, in the Nemunas delta, or “bird paradise”, the traditional celebration of aquatic warbler’s welcoming event took place.

29. A draft of the program for translocation of the Aquatic Warbler was made

2018 m. In May, the project for Aquatic Warbler translocation programme was completed. It was discussed at the naturalists’ meeting. Check the programme.

  

30. The primary analysis of Aquatic warbler stepping stone habitats implemented

The primary stage of Lithuanian peat analysis is currently completed. Based on the initial criteria, approximately 1700 Lithuanian peatlands were selected. The introduction of additional selection criteria will assess the situation of the potential habitats of the Aquatic warbler in Lithuania. The analysis in Belarus has been already done.

31. A short informative publication on the translocation of the Aquatic Warbler was issued

In May of 2018, the publication presenting the essential aspects of the Aquatic Warbler translocation was issued.

32. Calendar for 2017 released

This bilingual calendar (Lithuanian and Belarussian) marks the life cycle of the Aquatic Warbler and offers a brief presentation of the project.

33. Publication "The Aquatic Warbler: A Guide for Children " - second edition, translations into Russian and English - released

In December 2017, a second edition of the children’s book about the Aquatic Warbler was published. For the first time the book was adapted for a foreign audiences – English and Russian versions were prepared.

34. Nature management plans prepared

At the end of the year 2017, nature management plans were developed for the Pušnis, Ružas and Apvardai Wetland Complex, Šyša Botanical-Zoological Reserve, Sausgalviai Polder Meadows, Kiaulyčia Botanical-Zoological Reserve.

 

35. 2 publications about the project areas prepared

Publications for local residents and tourists about Kliošiai Lanscape Reserve (Tyrai) and Sausgalviai and Šyša area, its environmental values and project activities were prepared in Lithuanian.

36. Meetings with farmers to discuss nature management plans organized

In September of 2017 we met with local communities to give their feedback on nature management plans.

 

37. A preliminary study of the water level mangement of Šyša and Sausgalviai polders was prepared

The study prepared in July 2017 suggests ways to manage water level individually in certain areas of polders.

38. A meeting with experts on the translocation of the Aquatic Warblers was held

In the beginning of July 2017, the Scientific Advisory Board met in Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve to evaluate the progress of the project and to consult the preparation for Aquatic Warbler translocation.

39. All farmers in Lithuania that have Aquatic warblers in their meadows were informed

In June the project team negotiated with farmers to protect the Aquatic Warbler. The flag of the rare songbird was presented to the farmers after they agreed to protect the birds.

40. Aquatic Warbler welcoming event organised

On June 3rd the Aquatic Warbler project team met with farmers in the traditional Aquatic Warbler welcoming event in Nemunas delta.

41. Project flyers issued

In April 2017, the project team introduced a leaflet in three languages. The flyers in national languages ​​present the project activities in certain territories more in details.

Project leaflet

42. A project monitoring program has been prepared

The monitoring program developed in March 2017 sets out how the impact of the project will be assessed.

43. The first habitat restoration works were carried out in a territory of 110 ha

In 2016-2017 shrubs and reeds were mowed and the remaining biomass removed from the project areas.

44. The farm in which the biomass processing facility will be established has been purchased

In the beginning of 2017 we bought an abandoned farm in Dreverna. A biomass processing facility will be set up here. It will at least partially solve the problem of biomass utilization in the Nemunas Delta region.