Implementation of Mire Habitat Management Plan for Latvia
2004 - 2008
Latvian Fund for Nature
Rīga Forest Agency, Nature Protection Board, Mārupe Municipality, Babīte Municipality, Ventspils Regional Environmental Board, State Joint-Stock Company Latvias State Forests, Usma Municipality, Puze Municipality, Pope Municipality, Forest Research Station, Aiviekste Municipality, Kalsnava Municipality, Vietalva Municipality, Latvian State Forestry Research Institute Silava, Olaine Museum of History and Art, State Joint Stock Company Olaines kūdra.
European Commission LIFE-Nature programme
4 especially protected nature areas of Latvia Cena Mire, Stikli Mires, Klāņi Mire, Veseta River Floodplain Mire
Dr. biol. Māra Pakalne
Jaunmārupe, Mazcenu aleja 3
The project aims
The project aim is to realise the priority conservation and management activities set by the Mire Habitat Management Plan for Latvia elaborated in 2003. It is the first habitat management plan for Latvia and outlines the priority areas in urgent need of management activities - Cena, Stikli, Klāņi and Veseta Mires that are included in the project.
The project sites
The project includes 4 especially protected nature areas of Latvia that are also Natura 2000 sites:
The total area of the project sites has increased from 9947 ha to 10808 ha when in 2004 valuable mire and forest habitats were added to these nature protection areas as Natura 2000 sites were established.
The project sites are nationally and internationally important as include habitats and species of EU Concern as well as protected habitats and species of Latvia. Cena Mire and Stikli Mires are included in the list of Important Bird Areas of Europe. About 500 ha of project site area are under critical need of management.
In total 14 habitats (7110*, 7120, 7140, 7160, 7230, 3130, 3160, 9010*, 91D0*, 9080*, 6410, 6230, 6210) and 14 species of the EC Habitat Directive are presented in the project sites, including 4 priority habitats (7110*, 9080*, 91D0*, 9010*). Habitats harbour 28 species in the EC Birds Directive Annex I from which 2 are priority bird species (Crex crex, Aquila pomarina). In the project sites the active raised bog habitats have been damaged by drainage and the restoration of the natural hydrological regime is needed.
The objectives of the project are:
- secure the best possible conservation status of priority habitats and species of Community importance,
- involve local society and stakeholders in the conservation and management activities,
- raise public awareness and enhance the understanding of the current nature conservation issues, habitats of EU importance and Natura 2000 network.
The main actions and means involved include:
- elaboration of management plans for the 4 project sites that include a complex range of habitats, threats and interests in accordance with national requirements,
- raising of water level by building dams on the drainage ditches for the restoration of raised bog habitats (7110*) that are losing their nature conservation value,
- management of transition mires and quaking bogs (7140) and Fennoscandian mineral-rich springs and spring fens (7160),
- management of forest habitats Western taiga (9010*) and Tetrao urogallus leks,
- organisation of 9 seminars for all interest groups and an International seminar in 2008 Raised bog conservation and management to present the project results;
- publishing of 5 informative materials and Guidelines for Habitat Management and Conservation in the project sites.
As a result of the project 19 priority actions will be carried out to prevent the threats for the habitats and species of Community importance
Practical results of the project:
- four management plans and regulatory documents elaborated and approved,
- active raised bog restoration measures implemented in 3 project sites (320 ha of raised bog restored), 4,9 ha of transition mires and quaking bogs and Fennoscandian mineral-rich springs and spring fens maintained, 61 ha of western taiga managed,
- people educated about the conservation and nature values of the project sites,
- knowledge exchanged and lessons learnt, especially for protected area managers.
Project actions and results
A1 Elaboration of management plans and regulatory documents - in 2005/2006 the managemnt plans for the 4 project sites - Cena Mire, Stikli Mires, Klani Mire and Veseta Floodplain Mire Nature Reserves were elaborated.
A2 Hydrological investigations for the preparation of technical designs for building dams - in 2006 the started hydrological investigations were continued in 120 groundwater observation wells (52 in Cena Mire, 28 in Stikli Mires, 40 in Klani Mire). Technical designs for building dams were elaborated for all planned project sites.
A3 Elaboration of technical designs for nature trails and watching towers - 2 technical designs for building of nature trails (in Cena and Stikli Mires) and 2 technical designs for building of 2 watching towers were completed.
A4 Organization of price quatation - 6 price quatations were organised (for building the nature trails and the watching towers in Cena Mire and Stikli Mires, for elaboration of technical designs, for film shooting and book/ Guidelines).
A5 Making agreements and signing contracts - in total 28 agreements were prepared and signed with the sub-contractors for the building of dams, nature trails and watching towers.
C1 Construction of dams and restoration of natural raised bog hydrology - building of peat dams was started in September 2006. In total in Cena Mire 73 dams and 107 damming areas were built both by excavator and by hand. In 2007 work was continued in Stikli Mires - 135 dams were built and in Klani Mires - 36 dams. In total - 171 dams were built in 2007.
C2 Construction of watching towers - the construction of the first watching tower in Cena Mire was started in December 2006, it is completed in April 2007. The second watching tower in Vasenieki Mire (Stikli Mires) is built in October 2007.
C3 Removing shrubs and pine - in 2006 the management took place in the permanent monitoring plots to observe the influence of cutting of shrubs and trees to the mineral rich spring and spring fen as well as transitional mire habitats. The planned managed area comprises 4,9 ha. In March, 2008 shrubs and trees were removed in Veseta River Floodplain Mire.
C4 Management of forest habitats - in 2006/2007 the management of Tetrao urogallus leks was carried out (in total 21,6 ha - 18,4 ha in Stikli Mires and 3,2 ha in Klani Mire). Action was continued in 2007/2008 in the area of 8,6 ha in Stikli Mires. Acton is competed in November 2008.
C5 Construction of nature trails - in September 2006 building of the nature trail was started in Cena Mire and completed in December. The boardwalk is 1752 m long, width is 0,6 m with 8 passing places and 2 rest areas. In September 2007 the nature trail is built also in Vasenieku Mire (in Stikli Mires Nature Reserve). The boardwalk is 1500 m long.
D1 Monitoring site hydrology and the effects of management measures - hydrological monitoring was started in 2005 and continued in 2006 and 2007. It is carried out in 120 groundwater wells, where every week the groundwater level is measured by the hydrologist. Once a year the vegetation monitoring is carried out.
E1 Organisation of seminars - in total 9 project seminars were organised. In the first three seminars the prect partners, aure protectionrganistions and local inhabitants were introduced with the aim and objectives of the project. In October 2006 an Interim seminar and the Project Steering Group Meeting was held in Olaine Museum of History and Art. In total 39 participants from 14 institutions took part in the seminar. There was an excursion to Cena Mire Nature Reserve. The 5 th Meeting of Steering Group was in June 15 2007. In summr 2008, the International Seminar "Raised Bog Conservation and Management" was organised. The 3 Final Seminars were oganised at the project sites.
E2 Preparation and publishing of 5 informative booklets about the project sites and the LIFE project: the first project booklet in Latvian was bublished in spring 2005, in English in August 2005; the second booklet about Cena Mire in Latvian and in English was published in October 2006; the third booklet about Klani Mire Nature Reserve in Latvian and in English was published in October 2006. The booklet about Veseta Floodplain Mire in Latvian is published in August 2007, but in English in December 2007. Booklet about Stikli Mires in latvian and in english are published in March 2008.
E3 Arrangement of nature trails - field trips were organised to Cena Mire along the route of the nature trail to decide where the information boards and signs could be located. The nature trail in Cena Mire was completely arranged in May 2007 and is used for field excursions and for seminars. Nature trail in Vasenieki Mire is completed in September, 2007.
E4 Establishment of information boards - in 2006 in total 2 large-size boards, 5 small-size boards and 6 information signs for Cena Mire and Klani Mire were prepared. In Cena Mire they were placed along the nature trail in May 2007. In 2007 the information boards were set up in all other project sites.
E6 Production of audio-visual materials - the production of the video film about the Project takes place. Management actions have been filmed (building of dams, forest management, building of nature trail and watching tower, Raised Bog Day). TV shot on Cena Mire, LIFE project and project actions was shown Latvian TV in October 2006. Film is 35 minutes long.
E7 Organizing Raised Bog Conservation Day - In September 11, 2007, Raised Bog Day was organised in Olaine Museum with the field trip to Cena Mire nature trail, but in October 19, 2007, in Ventspils Museum with an excursion to Stikli Mire Nature Reserve nature trail. In October 3, 2008 Raised Bog Day was organised in Jaunkalsnava with an excursion to Veseta Floodplain Mire. Photo exhibition "Let's get acquainted with Latvian Mires!" was prepared during all Raised Bog Conservation Days.
E8 Elaboration of educational pack for teachers - a field quide for mire excursions for the teachers and schoolchildren is prepared and published in January 2007. It is distributed to schools of the project sites and other interested organisations. In summer 2007, materials about the mire types, their origin and development were published and distributed in schools.
E9 Preparation and publishing of Guidelines on habitat and species conservation and management - is prepared and published in December 2008.
E10 Participation in study tours, seminars and other meetings - the first exchange of experience trips were to Lithuania (Kamanos Nature Reserve) and to Estonia (Nigula Nature Reserve). The study tours to Finland (in 2005) and to Ireland (in 2006) were organized. The project experts have presented results of project actions in 11 international seminars and conferences, but in 2007 - participation in 4 seminars and conference.
F1 Project administration - the project team consists of project manager Mara Pakalne, manager of main activities Juris Nusbaums, main habitat expert and information coordinator Valda Baronina, financial assistant Liga Bernane, project assistant Stella Alukevica, hydrologist Aigars Indriksons and field manager Gunars Balodis.
Exchange of experience
In 2006/2007 Latvian Fund for Nature and the LIFE project experts cooperate with the Estonian Fund for Nature in the frame of INTERREG project "Mire habitat restoration planning". The project includes exchange of experience and organisation of a seminar in Estonia and Latvia in October 2006 to the LIFE project site Cena Mire in Latvia.
In 2004/2005 Latvian Fund for Nature with LIFE-Nature project Implementation of Mire Habitat Management Plan for Latvia was a partner in a LIFE co-op project Dissemination of ecological knowledge and practical experiences for sound planning and management in raised bogs (7110*, 7120, 7140, 7150, 91D0*, 3160) and sea dunes (2110, 2120, 2130*, 2140*, 2150*, 2160, 2170, 2180, 2190, 3110).
The project was implemented by the following countries The Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, Denmark, United Kingdom.
Project's first report
28164/LIFE_First_Report.pdf (547.59 KB)
28164/Report_maps.pdf (8.42 MB)
Project's Financial Interim report
28164/LIFE_Second_Report.pdf (4.81 MB)
Stands in mires
Pictures of the project
Project activities in 2008
Project news archive