Safeguarding the Lesser White-fronted Goose Fennoscandian population in key wintering and staging sites within the European flyway




Goal/ Tasks:

The aim of the LIFE+ project proposal is to implement urgent concrete conservation actions in wintering and staging grounds of the Fennoscandian population of the Lesser White-fronted Goose (subsequently referred to as LWfG) in SE Europe in order to halt its current alarming population decline.

 

The main project objectives are:


- to reduce mortality rates which relate to hunting along the European flyway, considered to date as the most significant threat for the species.
- to provide suitable foraging and roosting habitats for the species in wintering and staging grounds,
- to increase knowledge and awareness considered crucial for the conservation of the species in wintering and staging grounds and
- to maximize international co-operation and networking in countries hosting key wintering/staging grounds along the European flyway.

 

Duration: 58 months

Target areas:

Target areas in Greece: EVROS DELTA, KERKINI LAKE, ISMARIDA LAKE
Target areas in Bulgaria: PYASACHNIK RESERVOIR, BATOVA, ZLATIATA
Target areas in Hungary: HORTOBÁGY NATIONAL PARK
Northern Finnish Lapland
Bothnian bay

 

Activities:

The principal conservation action of this project comprises the establishment of a demonstration high-technology system (Smart Patrol System – SPS) for the patrol of the main overwintering area of the LWfG flock in Greece. Patrolling will be carried out in 3 staging and wintering areas in Bulgaria as well. Roosting and foraging LWfG habitat will be restored and managed in project sites. Specifically, in Hortobágy National Park (Hungary) LWfG habitat will be restored by control of encroaching vegetation, while in Evros Delta (Greece) existing habitats will be managed by controlling grazing intensity and seeding of suitable sites for the enhancement of these natural grasslands.

In Greece and Bulgaria, conservation actions will be supported throughout the project by a powerful mapping system which will record and analyze data deriving from preparatory actions relating to monitoring of hunting activity, sources of disturbance, LWfG habitat use and diet. Mapping will be necessary for the effective planning and implementation of concrete conservation actions. The project aims to implement an extensive public awareness campaign against illegal hunting, led by the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, as well as organize training workshops for state wardens and hunters.

 

Expected results:

- Improved conservation status and reduced mortality and disturbance;
- Smart Patrol System tested, adjusted and evaluated for its effectiveness in addressing illegal hunting and disturbance of LWfG;
- Three National Action Plans for the conservation of the LWfG produced and endorsed by the competent national authorities in Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece;
- Increased knowledge of LWfG staging and wintering sites and population numbers in areas not previously known and in particular.

 

Financing:

LIFE + European commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management / coordination:

Project main beneficiary and coordinator:
HOS/ Birdlife Greece

 

Associated beneficiaries:

NAGREF
MEECC
BSPB
HNPD
AEWA
WWF-FINLAND
METSAHALITUS

 

Partners:

The project involves 8 partners from 4 European countries, including two national public authorities (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) – Greece, Metsähallitus - Finland), three NGOs: Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) - Greece, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) - Bulgaria and World Wildlife Fund for Nature - Finland WWF – Finland, one Research Institution (National Agricultural Research Foundation - Greece), one National Park Authority (Hortobágy National Park Directorate - Hungary) and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat.