Marijampolė state forest management plan amended according to the Amalva wetland nature management plan

March 2, 2018. The final legal step towards implementation of the forest-related actions of the Amalva wetland nature management plan was made - minister of Environment issued an order approving amendment of the Marijampolė state forest management plan. This approval will allow cutting of trees in parts of the Amalva wetland planned within WERLIFE 2 project, but will also ensure sustainability of the results, i.e. maintenance of cleared bog areas.

 

Purchased herd of beef cattle already helps managing peripheral Amalvas wetland areas

June-July, 2017. A herd of beef cattle of Aberdeen-Angus breed purchased by the project already helps managing peripheral fen areas of the Amalva wetland. Contracted farmer will manage approximately 30 ha of wetland important for breeding corncrake and spotted crake for at least 5 coming years.

Angusai ganykloje copy

Purchased cattle just brought to the target wetland area

Galovėjų ganykla_S

The same already grazed area.

 

Private land plots to be affected by restoration of hydrological regime in the Amalva site were purchased for the state

May 18, 2017. Project funds were used to purchase land plots (marked in yellowish colour in the scheme) to be affected by restoration of hydrological regime in the western and northern perypheries of the Amalva bog. In total almost 30 ha of land was purchased for the state that will be used exclusively for nature conservation. 

Apkirptas vakarinio pakraščio sklypų planas copy

Areas to be directly affected by restored water level in the northern and western peripheries of the Amalva bog and purchased land plots (blocks on ditches - yellow rectangles, dammed ditches - blue line, reconstructed dikes - red lines, dikes reconstructed during previous LIFE project - orange line)

 

Completed part 2 of the technical project for restoration of hydrological regime in Amalva site

April, 2017. Month ago Žuvintas biosphere reserve directorate finally received agreements from all landowners of the target land plolts to sell the land for the state. This allowed Nature heritage fund to complete preparation of the technical project for restoration of hydrological regime in Amalva site. Several restoration scenarios were considered since the beginning of the project. Success in land purchase allowed choosing of the most optimal scenario. Completed technical project foresees raising of water level in the western and northern peripheries of the Amalva bog to the altitudes similar to those before land melioration in the second half of the XXth centrury. 

 

Amalva wetland nature management plan finally approved by the Ministry of Environment

2017 March 20 - important day for the WETLIFE 2 project and Amalva wetland in particular, as Amalva wetland nature management plan is finally signed by the Minister of Environment after long discussions, numerous amendments and re-formulation of measures. This planning document will allow implementation of certain project measures, such as clrearing of trees in parts of the bog affected by drainage. It will also provide a basis for long term (at least 10 years) regenerative management of all the former wetland area of ~3,5 thousand ha).

 

Blocking of drainage ditches is completed in Kamanos bog

2016 December. Blocking of drainage ditches was completed in Kamanos bog. More than 300 dams were built and more than 37 km of drainage ditches were blocked since the start of the project. Hydrological and botanical monitoring will help to evalutate effectiveness of the work done.

 

 

Cattle purchased for management of Amalva wetland peaty grasslands.

2016 November. A starting herd (15 heifers and 1 bull) of Aberdeen angus beef cattle was provided to local farmer on a 5-year contract basis for management of Amalva wetland peripheral peaty grasslands and sustaining bird fauna.

 

 

 

Completed first phase of elimination of draining impact of melioration systems on Amalva bog

2016 October.
First phase of restoration of hydrological conditions in the lag zone of Amalva bog was completed by the contracted company.

 

 

Volunteers help maintaining open bog habitats in Kamanos site

2015 April - 2016 May . Four voluntary actions were organised by Kamanos reserve directorate to maintain open bog habitats in Kamanos bog. School kids and adults took active part in these actions cutting and pulling shoots of trees. For most of participants it was a unique opportunity to get aquainted with one of the most valuable bogs in the country, experience walking through the soft cover of mosses, learn about importance mires and their hehabilitation.

 

 

Workshop "Farming in drained peatlands of Amalva mire: confines and possibilities"

2016, May 3. Žuvintas biosfere rezerve directorate invited farmers owning land in drained peatlands of Amalva mire to discuss possibilities of balancing economic and nature conservation interests. Expert from the Institute of Agriculture J. Šlepetys led the discussion about challenges and solutions of farming in peatlands, possible uses of grass biomass. Questions related to management of water level in Amalva polder were also raised. Representatives from Marijampolė municipality administration informed about a plan to prepare polder exploitation regulations, while director of biosphere reserve A. Pranaitis stressed new possibilities provided by agro-environmental shemes, informed about updated peatland database and aquatic warblers conservation areas. Project manager A. Stoškus invited to use opportunities for cooperation provided by the WETLIFE project in restoring and managing grasslands. Project aims to support conversion from arable land to meadows and management of grasslands by providing suitable grass seed mixtures and beef cattle.

 

 

Workshop "Farming in drained peatlands of Amalva mire: confines and possibilities"

2016, May 3. Žuvintas biosfere rezerve directorate invited farmers owning land in drained peatlands of Amalva mire to discuss possibilities of balancing economic and nature conservation interests. Expert from the Institute of Agriculture J. Šlepetys led the discussion about challenges and solutions of farming in peatlands, possible uses of grass biomass. Questions related to management of water level in Amalva polder were also raised. Representatives from Marijampolė municipality administration informed about a plan to prepare polder exploitation regulations, while director of biosphere reserve A. Pranaitis stressed new possibilities provided by agro-environmental shemes, informed about updated peatland database and aquatic warblers conservation areas. Project manager A. Stoškus invited to use opportunities for cooperation provided by the WETLIFE project in restoring and managing grasslands.

 

 

World Wetlands Day celebrated in the project sites.

2016, February. Celebration of World Wetlands Day was irganized by Kamanos reserve directorate in Akmenė. The event was dedicated to mires and climate change.

Similar event was also organized by Žuvintas biosfere rezerve directorate, which focused on the role of state strict nature reserves, protecting the most valuable mires in Lithuania. Monitoring, research and public relations were the key issues discussed among representatives of state strict nature reserves, ministry of environment and state service for protected areas.

 

 

Prepared Amalva wetland nature management plan

2016, January. Nature management plan for Amalva wetland was prepared and submitted for approval to relevant authorities. Nature management plan is prepared for the whole area of former Amalva mire (3637,8 ha) . It includes remnant of the mire - current Amalva botanical-zoological reserve and surrounding drained peatlands. Ecosystem rehabilitation measures are foreseen for the period of 10 years.

 

Elimination of woody vegetation in Amalva degraded bog

2015, February-September. Clearing of trees and shoots was carried out in degraded Amalva bog. This should reduce water loss due to evapotranspiration and create better conditions for re-establishment of bog species. Clearing was implemented in ~50 ha. Shoots were repeatedly cut when they reached height of 30-40 cm. Drainage ditches were blocked in the area and forest cut 5-6 years ago. As a result dense cover of shoots regrew from the stumps. The aim of repeated cutting is to starve root system to death.

 

Blocking drainage ditches in Kamanos site

Started in July, 2015. Kamanos state strict nature reserve directorate hired subcontractor and purchased necessary materials for blocking of drainage ditches in Kamanos strict nature reserve. Nature heritage fund supplied with a low ground pressure amphibian tractor and a hitch for transportation of materials to the wettest places of difficult accessibility. Blocking of the ditches is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

 

1-st part of the technical project for restoration of hydrological regime in Amalva site

 June, 2015. 1-st part of the technical project for restoration of proper hydrological conditions in the Amalva site was prepared and approved by the relevant authorities. It includes measures for raising of water level in approximately half of the meliorated lag zone of Amalva raised bog.

 

 

Blueprint for blocking Kamanos northern peripheral drainage ditch

Mar., 2015. A blueprint for blocking the northern peripheral drainage ditch bordering the Kamanos bog was prepared and approved by relevant authorities. This will allow  implementation of foreseen measures for reduction of negative impact of melioration systems in the northern part of the bog.

 

World wetland day in Kamanos site

Feb., 2015. World wetland day was celebrated in Kamanos project site. Numerous participants of the event could learn about exceptional ecological value of mires, their biological diversity and an urgent need for protection.

 

Cutting trees in Amalva degraded bog

Started in February, 2015. ~50 ha of degraded raised bog was openned up by cutting trees (mainly birch). Regrowth of shoots was controlled by repeated cutting when their height reached 30-40 cm. Part of birch stumps and roots, especially in wetter parts died, however in places where root system of trees was better established, regrowth of shoots was quite lively, thus will require cutting to be repeated next year.

 

Introductory project seminars

Oct., Nov., 2014. Introductory project seminars were held at the Akmenė municipality administration and Žuvintas biosphere reserve administration premises on October 30 and November 13 respectively. Importance of mire conservation, project aims and actions were discussed with stakeholders during the seminars.

 

A shelter for visitors "Beaver's house" in Kamanos wetland

Oct., 2014. A shelter for visitors called "beaver house" was built at the entrance of nature path leading to Kamanos bog. It is meant to serve in bad weather conditions, for nature classes and introductory lectures of guided visits.

 

Project inception newsletter

Oct., 2014. Project inception newsletter produced

 

 

Seminar-voluntary action in Kamanos bog

Sep., 2014. Seminar-voluntary action was organized in September 23, 2014. 50 participants of the action worked hard to tear up young birch shoots from the bog. Such an event is a good opportunity for schoolchildren to experience the mysterious bog, to learn about bog ecology and impacts of drainage and take part in rehabilitation.

 

 

Project networking meeting in Latvia

Jul., 2014. Experience exchange visit to Latvia was organized in July 10-11, 2014. Experts from Latvia University Dr. biol. Mara Pakalne and Dr. biol. Liga Strazdina presented Latvian experience in restoring bog hydrology. Results of several LIFE projects were discussed. WETLIFE2 project delegation, represented by specialists from Kamanos state strict nature reserve, Žuvintas biosphere reserve and Nature heritage fund, visited Cena and Stikli mire complexes, where restoration of bog hydrology took place. Technical aspects of damming drainage ditches with peat dams were discussed thoroughly. Several years of wear and tear enabled identification of strong and week points of such constructions providing solid basis for planning hydrology restoration measures in the WETLIFE2 project. Openness of hosts, friendly atmosphere and beautiful sceneries of Latvian bogs made it a very pleasant stay. Delegation left Latvia with thankfulness in the hearts and minded to strengthen further cooperation.