Wetlands of Engures Ezers with natural grazing

  • Country:
    Latvia
  • Start year:
    2002
  • Location:
    Engures Ezers
  • Size (ha):
    500
  • Area Type:
    Latvia
  • Type of protection:
    Natura 2000, nature park

Engures Ezers is especially important as breeding area for wetland and grassland birds and as resting area for migratory birds. Together with ARK Nature, natural grazing started to guarantee the openness of the wet meadows.

Konik horse grazing in Lake Engure

Area

  • Habitat types: (lagoon) lake floodplain meadow
  • Keystone species present: Corncrake, Great Snipe, meadow dependent species
  • Fauna (mega) species present: Moose, Red Deer, Bear, Wolf, Lynx, Eagle
  • Fauna species reintroduced: Horse (konik), Cattle (rewilded cross breed)
  • Vegetation types present: Meadow, mixed forest, swamp

Scope

  • Description: In recent decades, agricultural use mostly disappeared in the area and many pastures became overgrown. To guarantee the openness of the wet meadows, Nature Park Engure Ezers started natural grazing in collaboration with ARK Nature.
  • Aim: Restoration of natural wetland grasslands, swamps and dunes.
  • Vision: Large continuous self-regulating nature area with natural grazed marshes and dunes, and predation.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: Large scale contiguous natural areas including a natural river system with natural processes such as natural grazing by large herbivores and predation.
  • Uniqueness: The lake has extensive shallow wetlands with many small and larger islands. In the growing season, herds of Konik horses and cattle wade kilometers through the marshes in search of food, such as reed shoots.
  • Results so far: Natural grazing areas on now 30 (from 20 to 2000 ha) spread across the country combined with small-scale tourism.
  • Flagship species: Feral horses

Exchange

  • Inspirational value: .
  • Experience you would like to share: Natural grazing, river restoration, local involvement, nature and agriculture, nature education, eco products (wild meat)
  • Experience you would like to gain: Intensifying relation people and nature

Video

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