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PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Enterprise objectives:

The area covered by the project is one of the most valuable areas for waterfowl, in Poland as well as in Europe. Currently, the area planted with willow was in the past a perfect nesting and feeding habitat for many rare and protected birds, such as: the black-tailed godwit, redshank or the little ringed plover, curlew and oystercatcher. This area was also covered by RAMSAR Convention in 1984. Implementation of the various tasks assigned to the project will lead to the achievement of the goal of restoration and maintenance of waterfowl breeding habitats. The project is aimed at improving habitat through removing the willow shrubs.  Felling these willow thickets will get the significance of the area back, which is crucial for migrating and nesting birds. The actions taken under the project will allow us to preserve the biodiversity of the area. The main problem is secondary succession, which directly restricts the use of this area by many species of birds. The results of monitoring of breeding birds conducted by the employees of Warta Mouth National Park indicate the worsening conditions for nesting due to the overgrowth of meadows by willows. Among other things it stated a complete withdrawal of Charadriiformes, gulls and terns from the area.  This environment has changed so much that it is inhabited by only a few species of waterfowl, mainly coot and some species of ducks and grebes, but only in those years when the water is maintained until summer. 

Trends in numbers of selected species of breeding birds (number of pairs) in Slonsk Reserve in the years 1972-1999:

 Year

Numbers (pairs)

      Black-headed gull

 

 1969-72

 5,000-6,000

 1989

 3,000-3,500

 1995

 3,400

 1999

 4,300

      Common redshank

 

 1969-72

 70-90

 1989

 20-25

 1995

 24

 1999

 5

    Black-tailed godwit

 

 1969-72

 130-160

 1989

 25-30

 1995

 8

 1999

 6

       Garganey

 

 1969-72

 180

 1989

 20

 1995

 100

 1999

 16


According to the table above, bird species requiring open habitats have been reduced in numbers. This shows that increasing secondary succession has an obvious effect on the numbers of waterfowl. The implementation of planned actions aimed at cutting the willow shrubs will significantly help to improve this place as the habitat of many species of breeding birds. Increased secondary succession process hinders the birds to build their nest freely or even prevents them completely. Not taking action related to the felling of willow thickets will cause deterioration in conditions for nesting by breeding birds. The birds most vulnerable to losing their habitats are also rare species or even very rare in Poland and Europe.

Species such as a Black-tailed Godwin (Limosa limosa), common redshank (Tringa tetanus) and lapwig (Vanellus vanellus) can be found in Annex II of the Bird Directive, and the crane (Grus grus) and landrail (Crex crex) have been placed in Annex I of the Bird Directive. Not taking action limiting secondary succession will result in the loss of already small number of breeding places for these (and several others) species of birds.

The conducted monitoring of avifauna clearly shows the negative changes that occur in the area affected by the secondary succession.