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Title of the project

Life+ Return of Rural Wetlands

Description

At least 30 open water wetlands distributed to regional level. Total surface area of the sites is greater than 200 hectares
Significant increase of waterfowl breeding pairs and broods in the demonstrative sites compared to the situation before the operation.
Increased motivation, skills and co-operation of local people and regional authorities for the wetland conservation, restoration and re-creation in local and regional level.
Important is the co-operation of hunters and local people, as the base objective of the interest groups is the same.

In Finland hunters have a long tradition for voluntary work in hunting clubs. This is a great advantage for making field work and it can reduce the costs of implementation and management. Hunters can provide community support, they can find experts or they already are experts in some topic, such as tractor drivers, forestry workers or they can build water control structures.
The hunters also monitor the waterfowl populations by national annual point count method organized by Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute and Finnish Museum of Natural History. Monitoring about 30 wetland sites of all 48 sites of Life+ Return of Rural Wetlands is conducted by the local hunters.
Hunters committed to wetland restoration also play a key role in eradication of invasive predators like raccoon dog and american mink from the areas surrounding the wetland to provide safe breeding habitat for the wetland birds returning next spring. At least 10 demonstrative wetlands of Life+ Return of Rural wetlands are under predator control.
The demonstrative wetland sites are also used for educational purposes. Many hunters like to present their wetland for local people, authorities and peoples interested in wetlands. For example, in the Nordic wetland day 2.9.2013 9 and 2.9.2014 3 demonstrative wetlands of Life+ Return of Rural wetlands was presented. The good demonstrative site will promote interest toward wetland habitat work in surrounding areas. Mediawork is usually new for hunters, but many of them have met the journalists in their wetland site. We have had over 100 articles in local or regional newspapers.

Results

48 demonstrative wetlands will be implemented, total surface area is about 240 hectares
In 38 demonstrative wetlands monitored in 2012-2014: 8 waterfowl species breeding, total of 1520 waterfowl chicks
170 articles published in newspapers, magazines or websites
350 public events arranged for people interested in wetlands, meetings of nature conservation clubs and events for game management clubs and stakeholders

Location

Country Finland
Level National

Starting date

2010

Habitat Types

Wetland

Protection status of the areas

No protection status

Species

Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Protected species, Migratory species, Invasive Alien species
Species Type Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates
Name(s) of main species Teal (Anas crecca), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Wigeon (Anas penelope), Pintail (Anas acuta) and Shoveler (Anas clypeata).
Gulls (Laridae): at least four species nest as communities on wetlands
Waders (Charadriidae and Scolopacidae): at least fourteen species will benefit from the restored and re-created wetlands.
Passerines (Passeriformes): many species will use re-created open water wetlands and various restored wetlands on their nesting and/or feeding habitats
Reptiles (Reptilia, five species) and amphibians (Amphibia, five species): These species use wetland as breeding and/or feeding area.
Invertebrates: for example many threatened or endangered dragonflies.
Mammals: bats (Chiroptera), at least eight species

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities), Research and data collection (e.g. monitoring, bag data), Communication and education (for different target audiences e.g. hunters, the wider public)

Partners

Leading partners EU Life+, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/
Finnish Wildlife Agency, http://riista.fi/en/
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, http://www.mmm.fi/en

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

Total budget 2,06 MEUR

Estimation of Human Resources needed

Total hours about 4 000
People needed 250
The proportion devoted to hunters work 90 %

Publication(s)

http://kosteikko.fi/en/publications-and-links/project-brochures/

Weblinks

http://kosteikko.fi/en/publications-and-links/project-brochures/