The LIFE4WadersPL project aims to recover wet grassland wader populations in Poland through the creation of large-scale conservation areas. Wet grassland wader species in Poland have been experiencing rapid declines at an average rate of 5-8% per year. The main objective of this project is to improve the conservation status of these species by achieving a 50% increase in breeding numbers within 10 reserves and on surrounding private land in six Natura 2000 areas, covering a target area of 7,805 hectares. The project will focus on habitat improvement, reproduction rates, monitoring, replication actions, knowledge exchange, and awareness raising. To enhance habitats, the project will involve the purchase of 220 hectares of land, rewetting of 920 hectares, restoration of 298 hectares of abandoned meadows, and the introduction of grazing on 429 hectares. The aim is to create suitable and favorable conditions for wet grassland waders. Additionally, the project will strive to increase the reproduction rates of priority species, such as lapwings and black-tailed godwits, by implementing measures within predation fences to achieve a breeding success rate of at least 0.7 fledged young per pair. This will involve protecting nests within and outside fences, as well as predator control measures. Monitoring efforts will be integrated to assess population parameters, habitat conditions, ecosystem services, and socio-economic impacts. The project will also focus on replication actions, including the development of active protection projects in strategic areas and the deployment of agri-environmental schemes in 12 Natura 2000 sites. Collaboration with farmers will be crucial, aiming to introduce agri-environmental programs on at least 150 hectares of private land within the target area. The project will mobilize additional funding of EUR 490,000 over a period of 5 years to support wader bird conservation efforts. Furthermore, the project will create a GIS layer of distribution ranges and suitable habitats for black-tailed godwits and redshanks, facilitating better spatial targeting of agri-environmental programs at the national level. Knowledge exchange with Western European organizations will be prioritized, and dissemination of this knowledge within Poland will be carried out. Public awareness raising activities will also be implemented to engage and involve the wider community in wet grassland wader conservation.
Total Eligible Budget: €9,445,068, EU Contribution: €6,328,196, EU Funding Percentage: 67%
• Implement habitat improvement measures through land purchase, rewetting, meadow restoration, and grazing to create favorable conditions for wet grassland waders.
• Focus on increasing reproduction rates of priority species by implementing measures within predation fences, protecting nests, and controlling predators.
• Integrate monitoring efforts to assess population parameters, habitat conditions, ecosystem services, and socio-economic impacts.
• Develop and implement replication actions, including active protection projects and agri-environmental schemes in Natura 2000 sites.
• Collaborate with farmers to introduce agri-environmental programs on private land, mobilizing additional funding for wader bird conservation.
• Create a GIS layer of distribution ranges and suitable habitats for targeted species to facilitate effective spatial targeting of agri-environmental programs.