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pdf 1,0Mb) Restoring the integrity of freshwater habitats in Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 area – bringing the River Laeva back to life

Restoring the integrity of freshwater habitats in Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 area – bringing the River Laeva back to life

Project background

This project is being initiated because of the destruction of the River Laeva, which runs through the AlamPedja Natura 2000 network site. This river used to be an excellent representative of a natural river, with attractive meanders and surrounding meadows. The river and regularly flooded meadow, was an extremely important habitat and spawning ground for many fish species, including the EU targeted asp (Aspius aspius), spined loach (Cobitis taenia) and mud loach (Misgurnus fossilis). The riverine ecosystem also played an important role for valuable invertebrate and bird species. Today, however, the waters have been directed away from their natural riverbed in the lower course, with a man-made canal taking them into the River Emajõgi, outside the AlamPedja Natura 2000 site. The river mouth, situated in an unnatural place and followed by 5 km of straight canal does not attract fish into the river. Thus, the quality of the river as habitat type and habitat for important species needs to be restored.

Project objectives

The project’s main objectives are to:

• Restore the River Laeva natural riverbed in the AlamPedja Natura 2000 site, to preserve habitats and species of European conservation priority e.g. Aspius aspius, Cobitis taenia, Misgurnus fossili and Cottus gobio; • Restore the alluvial meadow, thus providing important habitats for valuable birds e.g. Aquila pomarina, Crex crex, Gallinago media, Grus grus; • To create spawning grounds for asp; • To re-introduce the asp to guarantee populations’ stability/increase; • To promote public awareness about the conservation of the habitats and species of EU importance and the role of the LIFE+ programme in it; • To develop international co-operation for the river and river-dependent species’ conservation; and • To promote the management and preservation of Natura 2000 biotopes in the Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 network area, to guarantee the presence and quality of spawning grounds for Aspius aspius, Cobitis taenia, Misgurnus fossilis and Cottus gobio.

Expected results

The project’s main expected results are: • 5 km of the River Laeva natural riverbed restored, integrity and completeness of the Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 area improved; • 12 ha of alluvial meadows restored; • 300 m2 of spawning grounds created; • 10 000 specimen of asp (Aspius aspius) re-introduced; • Raised awareness among different target groups about the importance of preserving the Natura 2000 biotopes in the Alam-Pedja area; • Tangible monitoring indicators verified and results introduced; and • The assessment of the efficiency of practical protection measures.

WILDLIFE ESTONIA
NGO Wildlife Estonia is established in 2000. Our aim is to protect rivers and other aquatic habitats. We care about the nature, biodiversity and fish in particular.

HABITATS
Springs, rivers and lakes are our common treasure. The more natural status they have the more precious they are. 

COMPETENCE
Successful application and implementation of river restoration and fish population status improvement projects. Scientific ichthyology studies with traditional and modern bio-telemetric methods. 

CONTACTS
Eesti Loodushoiu Keskus, registration 80124928,
Address: Veski 4, 51005 Tartu, ESTONIA 
Send e-mail:
Contact phone (+372) 51 76886

Kodulehe valmistamine aara.ee

Restoring the integrity of

Project background This project is being initiated because of the destruction of the River Laeva, which runs through the AlamPedja Natura 2000 network site This river used to be an excellent representative of a natural river, with attractive meanders and surrounding meadows

Restoring the integrity of freshwater habitats in Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 area – bringing the River Laeva back to life

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