The Haapsalu-Noarootsi Bays is a complex wetland system comprising of different Nature Reserves on the Northwestern coast of Estonia. The open water, meadows, reed-beds and woodlands of the Haapsalu-Noarootsi Bays support different habitats, which provide breeding sites and safe harbors for many migratory bird species. Millions of birds take advantage of the bays passage-friendly flyway annually between their breeding and wintering areas.
“The Haapsalu-Noarootsi Bays is the perfect place to witness the spectacle of bird migration. The area is a migration corridor for many migratory waterbirds, connecting Estonia and its people to the rest of the world!” - Marko Valker, Project Manager.
A visitor centre hosts an array of interactive exhibits highlighting waterbird migration, the results of restoration work on 100 ha of coastal habitat and a detailed study of the Baltic seabed, all supported by the WOW project. Not too long ago, though, the region suffered greatly from the effects of unsustainable fishing, hunting and tourism and the collapse of traditional agricultural land-use. The site's degradation was negatively affecting visiting bird populations including many AEWA migratory species. Thanks to a concerted effort, a comprehensive five-year management plan for Northwest Estonia’s network of protected areas is now helping to redress the damage. The plan integrates ecotourism activities, nature conservation measures and human activities at the local level and addresses both the integration of stakeholders and the specific problems of the site.
This has helped to save this vital area for many migratory waterbirds covered by AEWA, not least the globally endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus), for which this is the main stopover site in Estonia.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFORMATION:
LOCAL IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:
STATE NATURE CONSERVATION CENTRE
The State Nature Conservation Centre is a governmental body, responsible for all practical site management activities within the Haapsalu-Noarootsi Wetlands since 2006.
For more information please see:
Project Website in Estonian: http://www.envir.ee/lk/aewa
Project Website in English: http://www.envir.ee/lk/aewa/index.php?id=14
OTHER PROJECT PARTNERS: