© Petteri Tolvanen / WWF

Habitat management

Diet analysis, Greece

The aim of this action is to increase our knowledge on the diet composition and habitat use of the Lesser White-fronted Goose( LWfG) in its wintering grounds on Greece. During this action, we will collect and analyze droppings of LWfG from the Evros Delta and Kerkini Lake.  Seeds, leafs and cellular remains will be identified according to reference material (which will include all plant species found at the study areas and will serve as cell structure comparative material) that will be prepared.

When food is limited and, especially, when grasses are low, the LWfG spend more energy looking for favorable feeding grounds outside the protected area and, probably, in areas where hunting is allowed, increasing the mortality risk. The action will contribute to determine the range of the different habitats used by the species.

The results will be useful to evaluate the management status of the main habitats where the LWfG forages. Additionally, according to the results, habitat management directions will be provided to the rest of actions within the framework of the current project. Likewise, the habitat management proposals could be included at the under preparation National Action Plan of the LWfG. 

This part of the action is lead by Hellenic Agricultural Organisation “DEMETER”.

Diet analysis, Hungary

Also in Hortobágy National Park, Hungary,we will collect LWfG droppings and identify germinate plant species in the diet of LWfG. Germination techniques will be utilized to in the identification of the plants. Droppings from other species feeding in the same areas will also be collected and analyzed in order to compare their diets and to examine inter-specific competition. The analysis will be performed in collaboration with the University of Debrecen.

This way we will receive baseline information on the diet of the LWFG in Hungary and help to produce a final report relating to diet composition of LWfG in staging and wintering sites. These findings could help in producing management proposals for improvement of food availability and foraging habitats conditions as well.

This part of the action is lead Hortobágy National Park Directorate.

Habitat Management Plan for key LWfG sites at Evros Delta, Greece

The aim of this action is to prescribe in detail all the habitat management actions required in order to enhance the foraging habitat quality for the LWfG. The action is implemented at the main foraging area of the species at the Evros Delta (the Dimitriadis grassland). Specifically, parameters such as the regulation of the grazing pressure and enhancement of the availability of wild grasses (which are the main food resource of the LWfG) will be taken into consideration.

We have prepared a Habitat Management ans Restoration Plan for efficient management and restoration of the key habitats of the LWfG at the Evros Delta.

We will also prepare a technical guide for the restoration of the vegetation and the regulation of the grazing, containing information regarding techniques and methods which will be applied in the framework of the current project (see the following action). The plan will be compiled by the experienced researchers of Forest Research Institute, which will have the responsibility for the implementation of the interventions, with the contribution of local experts.

This action is lead by Hellenic Agricultural Organisation “DEMETER”.

Habitat management in Evros Delta, Greece

This action follows the action described above: we will implement habitat management actions at the most important feeding and roosting site (the Dimitriadis grassland) according to the prescriptions of Habitat Management Plan. There will be two main types of action:

  • regulating the grazing pressure
  • management of the vegetation (including, among others, seeding of perennial and annual grasses and legume species) 

Additionally, in order to create safe roosting place for the LWfG, the vegetation at two small islets (at the Drana lagoon) situated near the feeding area will also be managed. This action is considered as critical in order to increase the availability and the nutritive value of food for the LWfG during the wintering period and to reduce the time spent searching for food outside of the protected area. In this way, the mortality risk due to hunting outside the protected area is reduced.

This action is lead by Hellenic Agricultural Organisation “DEMETER”.

Habitat restoration in Hortobágy National Park, Hungary

We will implement habitat restoration actions in roosting places and foraging sites of the LWfG in Hortobágy National Park. Specifically, the restoration action will involve vegetation management at the shores of Hortobágy fishpond unit V and the Kondás-pond and at the newly built island of Kondás-pond.

The areas around the fishpond V and the Kondás-pond have been overgrown by reed and bulrush, while LWfG prefer fresh, short grass conditions and more opened areas. To keep these habitats in suitable condition for LWfG it is necessary to set back the rampant vegetation of reed and bulrush with the use of disk-harrowing, followed by flooding

Water management for suitable conditions will be performed in the Kondás-pond and Fishponds V, VI as well. The area involved to this vegetation management action is 60 hectares, the total area of the involved sites is ca 680 ha.

This action is lead by Hortobágy National Park Directorate.


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