The Nemunas River Delta, shared by Lithuania and Russia, is by far the most important wetland complex in Lithuania and one of the very few natural estuaries remaining in the Baltic Region. Seasonally flooded coastal meadows, lakes, raised bogs, large fishpond systems and wet forests make this territory one of the most diverse biodiversity habitats in Lithuania. It is also one of the key stop-over sites for migratory waterbirds in Europe, regularly supporting internationally important concentrations of more than 20 waterbird species – among them a number of nesting vulnerable bird species.
Lithuania is committed under the European Bird and Habitat Directive to ensure favourable conditions for bird species and their key habitats. Currently the whole territory of the National Park is also designated under the Nature 2000 Act. However, a marked decrease in the carrying capacity of this unique complex of wetlands for migratory waterbirds was recorded in recent decades by changes in the land-use regime that have caused damages in this key bird area.
“It was amazing to see restoration efforts pay off so quickly. The successes and results of our demonstration project are important for further large-scale wetland restoration work in Lithuania.” - Saulius Svazas, Project Manager.
With support from WOW, the Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University spearheaded the restoration of a number of key floodplain habitats. As a result, several globally threatened bird species returned to the restored sites. A newly established bird observatory is being used as a base for scientific research, monitoring of migratory waterbirds and for transboundary environmental cooperation with Russia’s Kaliningrad region. New facilities for eco-tourism were also developed in the delta area.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFORMATION:
LOCAL IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:
INSTITUTE OF ECOLOGY VILNIUS UNIVERSITY
The Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University, a state-financed institution holding the status of a university-affiliated scientific institute, is a leader in ecological research in Lithuania.
For more information please see: http://www.ekoi.lt/en/
For more information please see:
Lithuanian WOW Project Website: http://www.ekoi.lt/info/wowlt/
OTHER PROJECT PARTNERS: