Project duration: 01 July 2013 - 31 December 2018
Total budget: € 911 529
EU LIFE programme contribution: 50% / € 455 764
Coordinating beneficiary: Eesti Loodushoiu Keskus / Wildlife Estonia
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.
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.
The project’s main results are: • 8 km of the River Laeva natural riverbed restored, integrity and completeness of the Alam-Pedja Natura 2000 area improved; • 13 ha of alluvial meadows restored; • 300 m2 of spawning grounds created; • 12 000 individuals 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
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.
Springs, rivers and lakes are our common treasure. The more natural status they have the more precious they are.
Successful application and implementation of river restoration and fish population status improvement projects. Scientific ichthyology studies with traditional and modern bio-telemetric methods.
Eesti Loodushoiu Keskus, registration 80124928,
Address: Veski 4, 51005 Tartu, ESTONIA
Contact phone (+372) 51 76886