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Wetlands conservation and restoration in “Puszcza Kampinoska” Natura 2000 site (LIFE KAMPINOS WETLANDS PL)
Start date: Jul 1, 2013, End date: Mar 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background Rare wetland habitats and associated species are present within the Natura 2000 network site, Puszcza Kampinoska. The site's integrity has however been compromised by excavation works associated with the Łasica Channel and several other minor channels, which has contributed to the gradual drying of the wetlands. Challenges remain in restoring the target sites to a state where they are capable of achieving their full potential as environmental assets. Research has identified the type of remedial habitat actions that needs to be taken to overcome such nature conservation challenges. Objectives The main objective of the project is to implement the actions that have been identified as needed for properly restoring and maintaining wetland habitats at Puszcza Kampinoska. The following project actions are planned: Permanently increasing moisture content around the most valuable fragments of Puszcza Kampinoska wetland habitats; Halting secondary succession in wet meadows (Molinion and Arrhenatherion type meadows); Reducing conflicts between the interests of local communities and those of nature conservation; and Collating the project experiences to produce benchmark solutions for water management on naturally-valuable areas (including workable options that facilitate the coexistence of wildlife and human economic activity). Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following: Rehabilitation of 125 ha of land in the Natura 2000 network site via land purchases from private owners; Increase the water content in soil on some 6 000 ha; Slowing of water drainage of water from the project area, enabling the groundwater table to rise to 0-20 cm below the ground in late summer time (in the vicinity of watercourses); Construction of 40 weirs and a 6.6 km dyke with 21 gates, and removal of 3.3 km of old drainage ditches; Establishment of mowing regimes on the purchased meadows and drafting of management guidelines covering beaver populations, weirs, and other hydrological factors for Łasica.Results are anticipated to improve the conservation status and range of habitat types listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive (Riparian forests, Tilio-Carpinetum forests, fresh meadows of Arrhenatherion type and Molinion type meadows). Protected bird species benefitting from the project will include the Eurasian bittern (Botaurus stellaris), corncrake (Crex crex) and lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina). Education and awareness-raising measures co-funded by the project will help to foster greater support and capacity for nature conservation work in the project area in particular and the Natura 2000 network in general.
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