Results of the project
This following are the main results of the “LIFE MagniDucatusAcrola” project.
Bird watching hide-tower has been built in Šyša polder, Nemunas delta. It will help to observe birds in surrounding fields easier. The building is set up in farmer’s land. We sincerely thank them and ask all tourists to respect the owners’ property.
From 2021 hydrological regime of western part of Šyša polder is regulated by newly built sluice. In 2021 Šilutė municipality have approved the rules of the sluice use, which sets that water level in the western part is regulated in nature-friendly way.
Aquatic Warblers settled down in Tyrai, Lithuania, where project partners had been mowing reeds and bushes in the area for several years already. In 2020 the rare birds were noticed in one area, while in 2022 the spread further away to the second area. In the map bellow Tyrai project site is marked in red colour and the areas where Aquatic Warblers started living marked with bird icon.
In 2022 a new – more convenient, faster and more mobile friendly – version of Young Nature Rangers’ Platform have beed started to be developed.
In 2022 we organized the second Lithuania’s Scythe Mowers Championship in Aquatic Warbler meadows. Almost 50 scythe mowers gathered to Šyša polder. During the event, the Lithuania’s record of the most massive scythe mowing was hit. The championship was widely covered in the media.
For the second time Aquatic Warbler project which is currently running in Lithuania, was nominated as one of the best Europe’s nature conservation initiative, while remarkable achievements of naturalist’s who are saving Aquatic Warbler from the brink of extinction was noticed by the famous broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Two times Aquatic Warbler Conservation project was nominated as one of the finalists of international “Natura2000 awards”: in 2020 in the category “socio-economic benefit” and in 2022 in the category “conservation on land”.
In 2022, after few years’ brake local farmers attended traditional Aquatic Wabler welcoming event in Šyša polder.
In 2021 the first Lithuania’s Scythe Mowers Championship was held in Aquatic Warbler breeding site Šyša polder. Scythe mowing enthusiasts from all over Lithuania competed in team and individual competitions. The championship was a success – the sky provided clear weather and a good mood, and the scythes sliding through the grass during the competition were a unique sight for event attendees.
In 2021 traditionally we celebrated the first summer weekend as a welcoming event of the rarest Europe’s songbird – Aquatic Warbler. Nevertheless, this year we held the event in untraditional space – in a yard of Lithuania’s Presidential palace, where Green ideas festival took place.
This bilingual calendar (Lithuanian and Belarussian) presents one of the most remarkable results of the project –Aquatic warbler translocation, which have been implemented very successfully. Also, other results and activities are presented. In the calendars, the life cycle of the Aquatic Warbler is marked and a brief presentation of the project offered.
In 2020 like every year, we visited farmers of Nemunas Delta in whose fields Aquatic warblers are nesting, we negotiated for them to delay mowing and encouraged them to declare their fields for special payments. We visited about 15 farmers, many of whom agreed to wait at least a little and delay mowing.
In 2020 a water regulator has been completed, it will help to ensure a water level regime favourable to both Aquatic warblers and farmers.
In Tyrai (Kliošiai Landscape Reserve) in Klaipėda district, shrubs were removed in the territory of 158 ha, reeds were mowed in territory of 47 ha and the accumulated biomass was removed from the territory of 65 ha. In Ignalina district, in the surrounding area of lake Apvardai, shrubs were removed in the territory of 38 ha, reeds have been cut for two years in the territory of 23 ha, and the accumulated biomass has been removed from the territory of 90 ha. In the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve, shrubs were removed from the territory of 44 ha, and mowing was carried out for two years in the territory of 64 ha.
A sluice-partition was installed on the Kiaulyčia river. It helps to maintain a favourable water level for Aquatic warblers both during severe droughts and very rainy weather.
Due to the COVID-19 quarantine in Lithuania, the platform for children www.gamtosreindzeris.lt quickly became popular. In less than half a year, it was visited by more than 45,500 visitors and 9,000 children registered. The success of the platform also attracted more specialists willing to create tasks for children. Currently, the platform has over 110 tasks created by 22 specialists.
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.
The nature trail not only tells the story of the Aquatic warbler, it’s protection, other neighbour species, but also the involvement of visitors is encouraged by interactive elements – a memory game, a game about the wetland ecosystem and the species living in it and the search for nature treasures.
Reeds were mowed in the area of 500 ha. Part of the territory was also prepared for controlled burning. In winter of 2019, 700 ha was burned and in 2020 – 3000 ha. Works to ensure optimal water level management in this area have been completed. It played a key role in maintaining favourablewater level in a particularly dry spring of 2020.
During the realisation of the engineering project soil surface was prepared for sedge seeding in the area of 70 ha. Cascade of dams on drainage channels was built, which allowed to swamp 800 hectares of extracted parts of the Dokudovskoe peat deposit. 500 ha of reed in wetland was mowed.
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.
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.
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.
Another 50 Aquatic warbler chicks were translocated from Belarus to Lithuania in 2019. Biologists have managed to raise and release all of the chicks.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2018 the report was finalised. It is a basis report to assess the impact of project activities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2018, in the Nemunas delta, or “bird paradise”, the traditional celebration of aquatic warbler’s welcoming event took place.
2018 m. In May, the project for Aquatic Warbler translocation programme was completed. It was discussed at the naturalists’ meeting. Check the programme.
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.
This bilingual calendar (Lithuanian and Belarussian) marks the life cycle of the Aquatic Warbler and offers a brief presentation of the project.
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.
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.
In September of 2017 we met with local communities to give their feedback on nature management plans.
The study prepared in July 2017 suggests ways to manage water level individually in certain areas of polders.
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.
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.
On June 3rd the Aquatic Warbler project team met with farmers in the traditional Aquatic Warbler welcoming event in Nemunas delta.
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.
In 2016-2017 shrubs and reeds were mowed and the remaining biomass removed from the project areas.
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.