Events and news at a glance.
Opening Nature Park Hiking Trail in M-V
The Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Nature Park Hiking Trail runs right past the project areas of the EU LIFE project Limicodra. As part of the opening of the 907 km long hiking trail, in the presence of the Minister for Agriculture and Environment Dr. Till Backhaus and District Administrator Michael Sack presented the EU LIFE project Limicodra with its goals and measures.
During the hike, the Rosenhagen pumping station was visited and the AUKM funding “peat-conserving dewatering and meadow breeder protection” developed in the LIFE project was presented. We hope that the hikers will be accompanied by the roaring and yelling of black-tailed godwit and lapwing.
21th may - European NATURA 2000 Day
European Natura 2000 Day relates to the 21st May 1992, when both EU Habitats Directive and LIFE programme were approved. This Directive together with the Birds Directive (adopted in 1979) became a base of EU Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. Today Natura 2000 consists of more than 27 800 sites across EU land and seas successfully contributing to the preservation of our unique European natural heritage.
To celebrate the Natura 2000 network - one of the EU's most outstanding achievements – and to honor the efforts of everyone involved in making it a success, the European Commission together with the European Parliament, the Council Presidency and the Committee of the Regions declared 21st May as European Natura 2000 Day.
On the occasion of the EU Natura 2000 Day, visit a close by Natura 2000 site, learn and discover the species and habitats it protects and use #Natura2000Day to share your experience.
In 2021, we are putting the spotlight on the proximity of Natura 2000 sites to people and on the benefits that nature brings to people and the planet, including those related to health. The Natura 2000 network with its vast coverage brings nature literally at our doorstep. Given the current situation with COVID-19 in Europe, we will be celebrating this special day on social media. Use the #Natura2000 or #Natura2000Day and join us there!
First countings from polder areas
Spring season started with cold weather and many breeding pairs.
The water levels are optimally high for the time of year. It's cold, the vegetation is growing slowly and evaporation is not as strong as in previous years. The breeding conditions are optimal in Mönkebude and good to sufficient in the Bugewitz and Rosenhagen polders.
To date in Mönkebude, 21 pairs of lapwing have been breeding inside the protective fence and 3 outside, some of them already have chicks.There are 2-3 pairs of Redshank and 2 pairs of black-tailed godwit. 50-100 ruffs and approx. 40 snipes are present in search of food and on migration. The curlew has now also been sighted.
A lonely couple is breeding in the Rosenhagen polder, exactly where they were last year. So probably the same couple as last year. A total of 3 pairs of lapwing breed in the Bugewitz polder.
New recording methods
The monitoring of meadow breeders in our project areas continues thoroughly. In addition to the common recording of breeding birds with binoculars, we are currently investigating drone-based recording methods together with thermal DRONES GmbH and the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development.
As part of a student thesis, we are trying to find out whether the clutches of the meadow breeders can be found with a drone and thermal imaging camera.
Start of breeding saison 21
The limicoles are returning to their breeding habitats in salt marshes and meadows along the Szezczin Lagoon. We therefor have started to built electric fencing around breeding sites.
At project site Polder Mönkebude we set up about 2200 m of electric fencing to defend breeding sites on still humid meadows from predators like foxes and wild boars.
Picking up old fences on peninsula Cosim
For the renewing of pasture fences at coastal sides of the peninsula the old barbed wire fence had to be picked up. The rests of it were manually picked up by Nature park rangers.
EU LIFE project tests new funding option for AUKM
Mire-friendly water management and meadow birds protection
In the context of the EU-LIFE project Limicodra, the AUKM “extensive management of permanent grassland areas” runs the testing of additional funding option “mire-friendly water managemnet and meadow birds protection” from this year on. Agricultural, environmental and climate protection measures (AUKM) are agricultural funding instruments that make sustainable production processes financially more attractive for farmers.
Areas in which the water level is kept at 30 cm below the surface from January to the end of May are eligible for funding. The water level is set at a weir, a maximum of 30% of the requested parcel may be above this water level. At the same time, the farmers tolerate protective measures for meadow breeding birds, such as the construction of mobile clutch fences or partial watering in the event of drought.
For the next 2 years, about 350 hectares of land were applied for, the additional funding amounts to 210 € / hectare. This compensates for the difficulties in farming and provides financial incentives to “produce breeding birds” in addition to feed for cattle. In addition, an important contribution to climate protection is made, since the water level improvement reduces the emission of climate-damaging gases.
As a technical service provider for the state of M-V, the LIFE project coordinated the congestion targets with the farmers and the water and soil associations and supported the farmers in determining the eligible parcels. Based on the experience, a funding program is to be developed so that in future the program can be applied for throughout Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Our project is recruiting volunteers to support us on protection measurments and monitoring.
Please contact the project office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Nature Park administration in Eggesin or Usedom!
2020 was a successful year. For the first time we welcomed four pairs of Black-tailed Godwit on the project site in Mönkebude. The measures for predator and water management are having an effect.
Good news we got recently from the European Commission/EASME. Our mid-term report was accepted. What a great message at the end of the year! Now we are looking forward to the next breeding season.
Since December Martina Behrens is part of the LIFE team and Christian Schröder has taken over the project management from Meike Kilian for the next year.
Breeding season 2020
Now we have collected all numbers of breeding pairs in the project sites for 2020. We are proud to see more pairs even in polder sites. Our measures of predator management (electric fences) and water management (water pumps to keep wet sinks) seem to improve the situation of habitat sites. And the limicoles have recognized that. In Polder Mönkebude some couples of Blacktailed Godwit have installed. In Freesendorfer Wiesen nearby our target species Avocet, Ringed plover and Oystercatcher are breeding, too. We hope to have even more species in the following seasons.
test of solar-powered pumps
In august our solar pumps arrived in Bugewitz and are now available for watering of parts of the polders in breeding season.
Testing of the devices took place in polder Rosenhagen just for several minutes, because breeding season has passed and precipitation of the last days was sufficient for plants growth.
exploring salt grasslands with experts
In the end of august LIFE Limicodra gathered two dozens of experts to visit the salt grasslands on island Großer Wotig and in Freesendorfer Wiesen.
This time we focused on structure of and threats of turf layers in the grasslands. There are several problems to solve to keep this habitat space for limicola and other typical coastal species.
Grazing on peninsula Cosim started
Since mid-July Highland cattle is grazing on peninsula Cosim. They shall suppress the reed and facilitate space for salt marshes.This race from Scottish Highlands is accostumed to raw climate and nutrition.
Now we are curious about the first arrival of lapwings.
First countings from 2020
Look for some details from the polder sites here (only german version available).
Information boards installed!
Information at the project areas is now available on boards at project sites Freesendorfer Wiesen, Struck, Großer Wotig and Peninsula Cosim. They have been installed by the Nature Park rangers and provide infos on the project and its species. But walking onto sites is not allowed either by the rules of the Nature Reserves. You can obtain the possibility to visit the sites with an exkursion of Nature Park Usedom or our project manager in future, if you stay up to date with our website!
monitoring report 2019 now available
You can find the number of breeding pairs of our target species and other meadow birds in the monitoring report as download on the info site.
Launch of pasturing on Peninsula Cosim
End of April we purchased the last required parcel of land on the northern crook of the peninsula. And also the electric fence for pasture was finished. In winter time reeds were clearcut. An area of about 9 ha is now prepared for grazing with Highland cattle.
It is a very robust race for beef, which gets on with rough feeding and wet hooves. Early beginning of grazing shall reduce abundant land reed by biting and tapping, in favour of the salt marsh species and waders. We are curious about the development of this site.
Monitoring and Nest Protection in spring 2020
Last year different measures for the protection of our target species led to successful breeding. Descendants and parents have returned to project sites abundantly. Since two years precipation is lacking more and more, so we have started irrigation in two parts of the polders. One pump has left puddles for the pleasure of waders and other animals.
We have built in total 5600 metres of mobile electric enclosures for the protection of clutches in all polder areas and in the Freesendorfer Wiesen. We concentrated on areas abundant of breeding pairs, single nests were extra enclosed or covered with a grid dome. In total 46 pairs of Sociable Lapwing, 7 pairs of Redshank, 2 pairs of Blacktailed Godwit and 6 pairs of Great Ringed Plover are now protected from the access by mammal predators. Luckily we will help some pairs of Avocet and a pair of Oistercatcher too. Final countings will be found in the monitoring report 2020 at our Information site.
Dryness and its consequences
The recent dryness in Western Pomerania brings a great risk for the meadow birds in the polder areas. Sociable Lapwing, Common Godwit and other waders need humid, pokeable soil for nutrition mostly in spring saison to nurse their chicks. If soil surface is drying to fast, chicks are missing water and insects.
At the moment the fen soil is still humid enough. But shown by the ground water measurements the ground water level is sinking daily by 1-2 cm. So breeding until June is very precarious.
To help the meadow birds, we try to prevent a fast water level sinking and irrigate some parts of the polders at the surface. Additionally we develop strategies for prolonging the higher ground water levels until summer month.
Not only for the waders low water level is unfavourable: The polders consist of fen moores with turf tickness up to 5 meteres. By desiccation the turf is decomposing (by oxidisation) and surface sags up to 1 cm per year. It provokes sinking ground surface, high carbon dioxide emissions and high costs for pumping stations.
Den hunting 2020
For recording the predators living in the protected coastal bird areas this year another den hunting was made. After winter months some specialized huntsmen gathered to reduce the population of mammal predators.
In current year Freesendorfer Wiesen were controlled on 28th of February and 18th of March. No animals were hunted, but existing and used dens were registered. After flood days on island Struck a badger was hunted. By removal of predators the dangerous visits at the nests can be reduced and they can have another chance to nurse their chicks and keep their population in the area. For this reason some artifical dens will be installed this year.
LIFE Limicodra in a meeting with volunteers in nature protection in destrict Vorpommern-Greifswald
The Office of nature conservation of destrict Vorpommern-Greifswald invited all volunteer workers to a meeting on 7th of March in the „Zuckerfabrik“ in Anklam. 76 participants listened to interesting lectures and talks from the practices. Our colleague from Flächenagentur MV Peter Markgraf told about safeguarding land for compensation measurements. Our project and its recent status was introduced by the manager Meike Kilian. You can find a download link of the presentation (german) in Information.
Now we are seeking for volunteers in our project sites to care for the meadow birds. We continue this year with training and hope for further interested persons. Contents of the program will be ecological basics, legal background, basics of hunting and farming, detailed knowledge of target species and habitats, ornithological monitoring methods, protection methods in field and further. The program takes place for several days in the breeding saison (8-12 weeks in spring) to learn theory and practices. The training volunteers will be certificated. It is foreseen to assist the project team, mainly in spring, until completion of the project in 2025 and afterwards to continue the care of the meadows sites. Are you interested now? Please contact us!
The 2019 saison in the project
Extract from the Press releases in the bulletins of regional counties (january and february):
Last year we succeeded in several points.
We achieved the milestone of the hydrogeological study for the polder sites to plan the measures for the water stabilization in the breeding saison. They can not yet be started because of lacking permissions.
The first Sociable Lapwings bred in the polder Mönkebude. Even if there was a general dryness of preceding year and a very low groundwater level in the other polders (Rosenhagen, Bugewitz), in Mönkebude the soil body was in better condition to start breeding. We enhenced the situation with watering temporarely a part of about 1,5 ha. Additionally we built electric enclosures of 2200 m length.10 breeding pairs of Lapwing and one of Redshank have settled.
In the Nature Reserves breeding saison was also successful. 30 pairs of lapwings, 10-12 of redshank, 5 of great ringed plover and one oistercatcher were monitored.
The northern part of NR peninsula Cosim was transformed from reeds to pasture land. By purchasing and renting the land the foundation is now in charge of the area to become salt marshland again.
Annual project meeting took place on January 31
Our project meeting takes place once a year. For this, our project partners (Landesamt für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Geologie, Natureparks "Am Stettiner Haff" and "Insel Usedom", Ostseestiftung, Amphi International, Stiftung Umwelt und Naturschutz M-V) came together on January 31 in the project office in Bugewitz.
Within the project management team, we evaluated the 2nd half of 2019 and set the work planning for the 1st half of 2020.
Further colleagues joined for the project meeting and we discussed completed project activities in 2019, planned activities in 2020 and evaluated the project progress (financial and reports).
After Lunch at Café Oblomov (http://www.oblomow-bugewitz.de/), the steering committee discussed about drawn downs, funds and proof of use.
It was a long and constructive day and we have made a few decisions. We are ready for the breeding season 2020!
LIFE Limicodra now on Instagram
LIFE Limicodra can also be found on the social network Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at "lifelimicodra": https://www.instagram.com/lifelimicodra/
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Second Meeting of Project Advisory Board
The second meeting of the projects advisory board took place in Bugewitz october, 22th. Stakeholders could inform theirselves about the projects monitoring and measures 2019. Johannes Limberg presented results of the geo-hydrological study of polders Rosenhagen, Bugewitz and Mönkebude.
In discussion we talked about possible measures for irrigation of the degraded turf soils in the Polders in spring months. This is essential for our breeding birds habitat. Before planning the projects we are focussing on land purchase and assignment.
First success for predator management in project sites Freesendorfer Wiesen and Mönkebude, where more fledgelings were risen than in 2018. This could me an positive effect of protection by mobile electric fences.
Conference of the International Wader Study Group, UK
The annual meeting of the International Wader Study Group was held in Morecambe Bay, UK from 20.-23.09.2019. The first results of the LIFE Limicodra project were presented with a poster (for download see information). The lectures and posters of various experts in the field of waders stimulated discussions and informative talks. A workshop on predator management provided many examples of measures and implementations that we can use for our project.
We took a lot of new information, contacts, suggestions and hints for the implementation of our project from the conference. Some experts have invited us to get to know their areas and projects. A study trip to the Netherlands and England is planned with other LIFE projects next year. The exchange of knowledge is an important tool for successful project implementation and the conversations between coffee and cake solved open questions and provided new ideas. Next year the conference will take place in Germany on Sylt and we will join it again.
Reparation of water ducts in Freesendorfer Wiesen
In september we repaired the water ducts in Freesendorfer Wiesen to provide water flow of flooding in the breeding habitats there.
The reconstruction of 3 ducts and the building of a new one was made with the help of stakeholder Agrar GmbH Wusterhusen. The flooding water can now reach the breeding habitats in the interior areas of Freesendorfer Wiesen.
Visiting Isle of Großer Wotig
A group of experts from Greifswald Moor Centrum, University of Greifswald and State office for Environment visited in the end of June the Greater Isle of Wotig in the Peene Stream. They were guided by Christian Schröder, our site manager, to see the status quo. Some questions were discussed.
They found the salt marshlands in deconstruction in some areas, because of the frequent flooding and tapping of cattle. Also the cattle cannot reach every part of the isle, because of difficult crossing of tideways. So this summer we will built some firm fords across tideways or drainage channels, to get the cattle grazing in the reeds to restore the marshlands in the northern part of the isle.
Presentation of geohydrological studies in polder Bugewitz, Rosenhagen and Mönkebude
The EU LIFE Projekt „LIFE Limicodra“ aims the rescue of meadow breeding waders at the coast of Western Pommerania. To resume all possibilities of habitat restoration we charged the UmweltPlan GmbH with geohydrological studies and modelling for the polders.
The results of the studies were presented and discussed to citizens, farmers and owners on 26.06.2019 in Bugewitz and 01.07.2019 in Mönkebude.
We would like to thank you for your coming, your questions and suggestions. We were able to take a lot of new information and ideas for ourselves and the project.
Presentation of geohydrological studies in polder Mönkebude
Presentation of geohydrological studies in polders Bugewitz and Rosenhagen
The EU LIFE Projekt „LIFE Limicodra“ aims the rescue of meadow breeding waders at the coast of Western Pommerania. To resume all possibilities of habitat restoration we charged the UmweltPlan GmbH with geohydrological studies and modelling for the polders.
We want to show the results of the studies to citizens, farmers and owners in the polders and discuss about questions and possibilities to optimize the habitats of meadow birds.
content: geohydrological studies in the polders Bugewitz and Rosenhagen
appointment: wednesday, june 26th 2019, 6 p.m.
location: Gasthaus „Zum Mühlengraben“, Bugewitz
Visit from Ministry of Agriculture and Environment
Dr. Buchwald (left in picture) was accompanied by Marie-Luise Waldenspuhl from the Department of Sustainable Development, Forestry and Nature Protection. They were informed about our project and its challenges as far as the first milestones to present. They got the chance to see two polders together with the farmers to talk about their recent problems and to find a way to serve both: land users and conservationists. Goal is to keep the soil in good conditions to feed the cattle as well as the breeding birds. A positive side effect is the reduction of climate relevant gases from the drained fens. We hopefully look farward to find a new and flexible programme or module in the next period of Agro-environmental and Climate protection Measures suitable for meadow breeding birds in wet grasslands.
Presse release of Ministry of Agriculture and Environment M-V
you find the release as download in the information site
experience with LIFE Wiesenvoegel in Lower Saxonia
The Ochsenmoor south of Dümmer was rewetted since the 1990ies. The ground level sank under the lake water level and is watered by several wind pumping stations and about 50 hand controled weirs. This reveals a great mosaic of different water levels and vegetation types. These measures stopped the drop down of meadow breading species and reversed it. Just predation by mammals brought a relapse. Consequent hunting management with pipe traps and chasing could reduce losses of clutches and chicks.
At the Kehdinger marshes near Freiburg/Elbe we have seen similar measures. Here we found breeding areas between summer dike and main dike as well as in the tide zone.
Well, we know now, what challenges we will meet...
Solar powering for breeding
The breeding birds have already recured to their territories in our project sites. A reason to protect their habitat sites from intrusion by fox, raccoon and raccoon dog. So we have built up 4500 m of electric fences.
We have now protected habitats of 30 ha in both sites Freesendorfer Wiesen and Mönkebude with mobile electric fencing. Northern Lapwing, Redshank, Common Ringed Plover and even some Avocets in Freesendorfer Wiesen and Lapwings in Mönkebude will hopefully benefit from it.
Solar panels feed-in the electric fences reducing the impact on climate revelant emissions.
Electric fencing for clutch protection
As early as never before lapwing and co. have returned to Western Pomerania for breeding. In our neighbour-project in Leopoldshagen electric fences were put up on march, 12 2019. They suppose to protect the nests of Northern Lapwing, Redshank, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and other ground breeding birds from mammal predators like foxes.
The colleagues from Nature Park „Am Stettiner Haff“ were instructed in proper fencing the habitat, because they will help us to put up and control the fencing against predators in our project sites. Our electric fences are on the way to the project sites now.
2nd visit by NEEMO
This time Dr. Bergmann took a glance on polder Bugewitz with sunny and to warm wheather. We spoke about the geohydrological study going on in the polders. Results are expected for end of May. Meantime we are looking forward on monitoring of breeding birds and fencing for protection of nests.
start of hydrological study
For the hydrological studies UmweltPlan GmbH from Stralsund was ordered. They will investigate the geo-hydrological conditions in the polders and suggest possible measures for improvement of breeding and feeding conditions for the meadow birds.
So now since October 2018 there are 15 groundwater- and 10 surfacewater- recording points in the polders of Rosenhagen, Bugewitz and Mönkebude, collecting data of water levels in the ground. Data is also recorded frequently by our manager of hydrological measures, Johannes Limberg from the Baltic Sea Foundation Germany. You can see him with project manager Meike Kilian in the photo.
First Meeting of Project Advisory Board
At the first meeting of the projects advisory board we appointed stakeholders from public authorities, communities, associations for water management, agriculture, hunting and nature protection. They were informed about the projects aims and measures. The actual status is finishing ex-ante monitoring and starting of our geo-hydrological study in polders Rosenhagen, Bugewitz and Mönkebude.
Expert Meeting in Bugewitz
From November, 7th to 9th we invited 9 experts from Germany and Denmark to visit our project and talk about their experience.
We discussed intensively about behaviour and requirements of our target species as far as the protection of their nests and chicks from predating, optimization of their habitat structures by increasing groundwater level in breeding season and by better management of grazing and mowing. Even judicial questions we have considered. In the field we talked about measures in the polders Rosenhagen, Bugewitz and Mönkebude and in the NR Freesendorfer Wiesen and Struck.
In the photo you see the visit of adjacent polder Leopoldshagen and project manager Geranda Olsthoorn of the project for compensation (E2) of the Flächenagentur MV. We spoke about good basics of ground and vegetation for meadow breeding birds.
Excursion to Sweden
At the end of september with early autumn weather we toured southern Sweden to see wader projects at Kristianstad, Öland and Falsterbo.
In biosphere reserve Vattenrike we learned a lot of hydrological situation and meadow management from Hans Cronert. He showed us H°aslövs Ängar, a peninsula in lake Hammersjö what is flowed through by Helge river towards the Baltic Sea.
Öland island is the place for former LIFE project Meadows and wetlands of Öland (2000-2004) that was presented by Susanne Forslund. We have seen a lot of different meadows types and were impressed by the geological features and especially by the hunting methods of Magnus Johansson for predator birds .
Last but not least we got to know more successful methods of protection for meadow breeding birds near Falsterbo bird station. P.G. Bentz showed us some highlights of recent bird migration and methods for recolonization of Avocet.
From our trip from northern shore of Baltic we took many suggestions for our project and thank a lot our guides Susanne, Hans, Magnus and P.G.
Public Presentation of the LIFE project and NaturKulturHaus Bugewitz
The grand opening of NaturKulturHaus Bugewitz was joined by the presentation of our bird protection project. Environment minister T. Backhaus brought his best wishes for both projects. Numerous visitors got the chance to see our bureau and the first exhibition of nature photographies of the Anklamer Stadtbruch by the German Society of Animal Photography. Soon an interactive exhibition about meadow breeding birds, Anklamer Stadtbruch and landscape history can be experienced.
Children's University ("Kinder UNI") with LIFE meadow birds
On May 23, 2018, site supervisor Christian Schröder held a presentation about the LIFE grassland birds project at Greifswald University in front of 140 children. He was supported by Kai Paulig and Dr. Sebastian Lorenz. The kids were enthusiastic about the birds' looks and calls. Afterwards they had the opportunity to look through a spotting scope that is used to watch and count birds in order to record their populations.
Start of monitoring in the project areas
In april our site managers Kai and Christian started monitoring and counting of breeding birds. Vegetation will be recorded after breeding season. Johannes, our manager of hydrological measures, is preparing the hydrological studies.
On friday, 13th of April we gathered together with the project partners for the Kick-off-meeting of LIFE-Limicodra. The project was completely introduced by our (temporary) manager Christian Schröder. Steering Commitee (SC) and project management team (PMT) were called up. Next steps will be convening an advisory council and the forum of experts.
First visit of EU project tutor
On january, 23th Mr. Bergmann from NEEMO, our tutor and monitor of the EC, became a first overview of working process and visited three of our project sites. We will meet up yearly to control work in progression. On this winter day we could not observe any target species, so our former project manager Dr. Lorenz shows him (here on the map) the isle and Nature Reserve Großer Wotig.
Visit to LIFE Limosa project and Bunde Wischen farm
At the end of November 2017, in preparation of our own project, we were visiting with the project LIFE Limosa and the cooperative Bunde Wischen (which means colourful meadows) in Schleswig-Holstein. Together with our project partners (State Office LUNG, Nature parks, Baltic Sea Foundation, Amphi International) and other related organisations our team could see on two rainy days sites, measures and success of these projects for the protection of meadow breeding birds. So we returned enthusiastic to our land.