European Rewilding Network
060

Nemunas Delta

Managing human coexistence with natural processes

Nemunas delta is one of the most important breeding sites for Aquatic Warbler (lat. Acrophalus paludicola) which is a very rare bird, breeding in only 4 countries of the world and having real threat for extinction.
During migration period huge flocks of geese rest in Nemunas delta in Lithuania.
Farmers are crucially important in maintenance of habitats. Those farmers that take care of favorable conditions of Aquatic Warbler receive special flags.

The Nemunas Delta region, which is still intensively farmed, is famous for its diverse and abundant birdlife. Ensuring that management activities are adjusted to natural processes is a key factor in keeping the area as wild as it can be.

In areas which are farmed the Nemunas Delta project works closely with local residents to encourage environmentally friendly practices that are closer to natural ecosystem dynamics (such as mowing and natural water level control). Extensive communication is carried out with farmers to increase their pride, common ownership and responsibility for wild nature. At a more specific level, the project is working to increase the local aquatic warbler population and develop nature-based tourism.

Project: Nemunas Delta
Region: Nemunas Delta Regional Park
Type of protection: NATURA2000 Special Protection Areas for birds (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), included in RAMSAR convention, Regional park
Habitat types: Flooded meadows, delta, wetlands (raised bogs, fen mires), lagoon, forests.
Keystone species: Aquatic Warbler (lat. Acrophalus paludicola), Great Snipe (Gallinago media), White tailed Sea Eagle (lot. Haliaeetus albicilla)
Fauna (mega) species present: Roe deer, elk, wild boar
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: To manage human coexistence with natural processes in Nemunas delta by managing human needs and ensuring close-to-natural ecosystem dynamics, the creation of separate wilderness areas with little human involvement and promoting nature tourism as an integral part of the two before-mentioned actions.
Nemunas delta is one of the wildest places in Lithuania, where people find their place and value the benefits nature provides.
Uniqueness of the project: Perception of farmers as heroes who protect birds and nature rather that enemies that should feel responsible for damaging the nature; broad environmental perspective that seeks to find a self-sustaining economic system including nature protection and tourism.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on:
- High-quality nature tourism services are offered in Nemunas delta creating an important economic value for the region.
- Local farmers use nature-friendly farming practices and values the wild nature as an important source of their well-beeing.
- Large herbivores are reintroduced Nemunas delta.
Results so far:
- Special agri-environmental measure for Aquatic Warbler conservation under Rural Development Programme of Lithuania that compensate financial losses farmers have due to postponed mowing.
- Achieved agreement on water level regulation that is close to natural ecosystem dynamics. More than 1300 ha of valuable habitats restored to favorable state. More biodiversity could be found in restored areas.
- The increase in Aquatic Warbler population in restored habitats in two years (2014 and 2015) positive farmer’s perception towards our team and our activities.
- Tulkiaragė nature path with renovated pumping station became a point of tourism attraction. Tyrai nature path set up.
- Few publications done: book for farmers, book-toy for children, poster, short documentary, short project film, book about Aquatic Warbler in Latvian, project leaflet and 8 project notice boards.
- We started a nature festival, which involved local community and created conditions for locals to sell their products.
- We reached big media attraction, Aquatic Warbler is a regional pride and well-known bird species in Lithuania.
- Local authorities recognized nature tourism as one of region’s strategic direction.
- We received a grant for new 7-years-long project “LIFE Magni Ducatus Acrola” where we continue to work in Nemunas delta area.
Inspirational value: A great success was a cooperation with farmers regarding management of sedge fen mires or wet marshy meadows. We see farmer as an equal part of ecosystem that has his own interests that should be met. We implemented a wide communication strategy to improve local attitude towards more sustainable management of habitats.
Experience you would like to share: Communication with local stakeholders, ecotourism development, biodiversity protection, environmental communication.
Experience you would like to gain: Destination area development; ecotourism service development.
Map
Country
Lithuania
Start year
2011
Size (ha)
28870
Area type
Marine: coastal
Natural process
River dynamics
Flagship species
Elk, Roe deer
Nemunas Delta
Nemunas delta is one of the most important breeding sites for Aquatic Warbler (lat. Acrophalus paludicola) which is a very rare bird, breeding in only 4 countries of the world and having real threat for extinction.
During migration period huge flocks of geese rest in Nemunas delta in Lithuania.
Farmers are crucially important in maintenance of habitats. Those farmers that take care of favorable conditions of Aquatic Warbler receive special flags.

The Nemunas Delta region, which is still intensively farmed, is famous for its diverse and abundant birdlife. Ensuring that management activities are adjusted to natural processes is a key factor in keeping the area as wild as it can be.

In areas which are farmed the Nemunas Delta project works closely with local residents to encourage environmentally friendly practices that are closer to natural ecosystem dynamics (such as mowing and natural water level control). Extensive communication is carried out with farmers to increase their pride, common ownership and responsibility for wild nature. At a more specific level, the project is working to increase the local aquatic warbler population and develop nature-based tourism.

Map
Country
Lithuania
Start year
2011
Size (ha)
28870
Area type
Marine: coastal
Natural process
River dynamics
Flagship species
Elk, Roe deer
Specification
Project: Nemunas Delta
Region: Nemunas Delta Regional Park
Type of protection: NATURA2000 Special Protection Areas for birds (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), included in RAMSAR convention, Regional park
Habitat types: Flooded meadows, delta, wetlands (raised bogs, fen mires), lagoon, forests.
Keystone species: Aquatic Warbler (lat. Acrophalus paludicola), Great Snipe (Gallinago media), White tailed Sea Eagle (lot. Haliaeetus albicilla)
Fauna (mega) species present: Roe deer, elk, wild boar
Description
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: To manage human coexistence with natural processes in Nemunas delta by managing human needs and ensuring close-to-natural ecosystem dynamics, the creation of separate wilderness areas with little human involvement and promoting nature tourism as an integral part of the two before-mentioned actions.
Nemunas delta is one of the wildest places in Lithuania, where people find their place and value the benefits nature provides.
Uniqueness of the project: Perception of farmers as heroes who protect birds and nature rather that enemies that should feel responsible for damaging the nature; broad environmental perspective that seeks to find a self-sustaining economic system including nature protection and tourism.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on:
- High-quality nature tourism services are offered in Nemunas delta creating an important economic value for the region.
- Local farmers use nature-friendly farming practices and values the wild nature as an important source of their well-beeing.
- Large herbivores are reintroduced Nemunas delta.
Results so far:
- Special agri-environmental measure for Aquatic Warbler conservation under Rural Development Programme of Lithuania that compensate financial losses farmers have due to postponed mowing.
- Achieved agreement on water level regulation that is close to natural ecosystem dynamics. More than 1300 ha of valuable habitats restored to favorable state. More biodiversity could be found in restored areas.
- The increase in Aquatic Warbler population in restored habitats in two years (2014 and 2015) positive farmer’s perception towards our team and our activities.
- Tulkiaragė nature path with renovated pumping station became a point of tourism attraction. Tyrai nature path set up.
- Few publications done: book for farmers, book-toy for children, poster, short documentary, short project film, book about Aquatic Warbler in Latvian, project leaflet and 8 project notice boards.
- We started a nature festival, which involved local community and created conditions for locals to sell their products.
- We reached big media attraction, Aquatic Warbler is a regional pride and well-known bird species in Lithuania.
- Local authorities recognized nature tourism as one of region’s strategic direction.
- We received a grant for new 7-years-long project “LIFE Magni Ducatus Acrola” where we continue to work in Nemunas delta area.
Exchange
Inspirational value: A great success was a cooperation with farmers regarding management of sedge fen mires or wet marshy meadows. We see farmer as an equal part of ecosystem that has his own interests that should be met. We implemented a wide communication strategy to improve local attitude towards more sustainable management of habitats.
Experience you would like to share: Communication with local stakeholders, ecotourism development, biodiversity protection, environmental communication.
Experience you would like to gain: Destination area development; ecotourism service development.
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