..nature..

LIFE - ΦΥΣΗ ..life..
THE WETLAND OF AGRAS-VRYTA-NISI
...

The Project

LIFE PROJECT: IMPLEMENTATION OF MANAGEMENT MEASURES AT THE AGRAS WETLAND

 APPLICATION PROJECT

  APPLICANT:

MUNICIPALITY OF EDESSA

  PARTNERS :
PREFECTURE OF PELLA
DEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF PELLA SA
N.AG.RE.F

The National Agricultural Research Foundation

The “Endiaitima

Environmental consultants Ltd

  PROJECT TOTAL BUDGET:
  843.500 Euro

ΠΡΟΓΡΑΜΜΑ LIFE- NATURE,

IMPLEMENTATION OF MANAGEMENT

MEASURES AT THE AGRAS WETLAND

 SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
Project title : IMPLEMENTATION OF MANAGEMENT MEASURES AT THE AGRAS WETLAND.

Agras lake has been designated as an SPA site due to the presence of a significant number of priority bird species. Among the >140 bird species present at the site, 37 are included in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

The wetland is one of the few Greek sites hosting Aythya nyroca’s breeding population at least 2 pairs at present, more than 5, ten years ago). Ixobrychus minutus, Nycticorax nycticorax and Chlidonias hybridus also breed in the site. The wetland is also considered very significant as a staging place for Pelecanus crispus (up to 150 individuals per day in February and March) and Pelecanus onocrotalus, (up to 20 individuals per day in spring) because of the convenient location as a stop over site, on the route to and from Prespa wetlands, where the largest EU colonies of these species exist.

The wetland is also important as a stop over site for many Annex I species (herons, such as Nycticorax nycticorax (>50 ind.), Ardea purpurea (>5 ind.), Ardeolla ralloides (>10 ind.), Botaurus stellaris (1-2 ind.). Several raptor species including Circus aeruginosus are wintering on the site.

 The project aims to implement integrated management measures for the restoration of the SPA site of Agras wetland, taking into consideration the management prescriptions derived by the Management Plan already prepared for the site, by a previous LIFE project, and involving the key stakeholders of the protected site.

The project involves the participation and close collaboration of all the competent authorities and bodies involved in the management of Agras wetland, for the implementation of the following actions:

• Formulation of a Management Agreement for the conservation of the protected site and operation of the wetland Management Committee.

• Elaboration of a Wetland Restoration Plan identifying and prescribing specific management solutions for restoring wetland functions and values, especially the support of priority bird species.

• Implementation of management measures, according to the prescriptions of the restoration plan, including:

1. Establishment of riparian tree stands

2. Improvement of nesting and refuge habitats for priority species

3. Management of wet meadow habitats through controlled grazing

4. Management of reed beds and restoration of aquatic habitats

5. Restoration of fish and crayfish habitats

6. Implementation of a guarding – patrolling scheme for the site

7. Monitoring of priority species and key habitat parameters

8. Integration of wetland interpretation infrastructure

9. Operation of wetland interpretation facilities

10. Implementation of a wide public awareness campaign for the site

The project implementation is expected to provide the following results:

• Overall improvement of the SPA conservation status, for the proliferation of priority bird species.

• Restoration of wetland functions and values for the benefit of biodiversity and local society.

• Promotion of sustainable environmental interpretation and ecotourism activities, compatible with the conservation of the SPA site.

• A three years demonstration of the win-win case of sustainable, conservation compatible and socio-economic acceptable management of the SPA site.

 

 ACTIONS
ACTIONS

A. Preparatory actions, elaboration of management plans and/or of action plans

ACTION A.1: Formulation of the wetland Management Agreement and operation of the Wetland Management Committee

ACTION A.2: Elaboration of the wetland restoration Plan

ACTION A.3: Elaboration of a grazing management plan for the wet meadow habitats

B. Peurchase / Lease of Land

C. Non-recurring management

ACTION C.1: Reestablishment of riparian tree stands

ACTION C.2: Establishment of two observation hides and expansion of nature trails.

ACTION C.3: Improvement of nesting, foraging and refuging habitat for priority species.

D. Recurring management

ACTION D.1: Management of wet meadow habitats through controlled grazing.

ACTION D.2: Establishment and operation of the wetland guarding project.

ACTION D.3: Management of reed beds, aquatic habitats and restoration of fish spawning grounds.

ACTION D.4: Implementation of the wetland-monitoring scheme

E. Public awareness and dissemination of results

ACTION E.1: Operation of the Wetland Information Center

ACTION E.2: Enhancement of wetland interpretation capabilities by creating a wetland interpretation room.

ACTION E.3: Production of interpretation material.

ACTION E.4: Creation of environmental education material for the SPA site.

ACTION E.5: Organisation of public meetings and an international workshop.

F. Overall project operation and monitoring

ACTION F.1: Project co-ordination and management

 

 

• Improvement of the wetland trophic status through the implementation of vegetation control measures that will remove litter and plant biomass (5% of the total reed biomass per year) from the wetland, and increase water circulation. Implementation of a conservation compatible hydroperiod, will further enhance the wetland water quality.

• Increase of habitat heterogeneity, increase in the area of wet meadow…..AREA, open water and shallow open water habitats, establishment of riparian tree stands, enhancement of habitat conditions for fish and cray fish populations. Vegetation management will include control of 5% or reedbed area per year. An overall improvement of priority bird species habitat conditions, as well as of the socio-economic wetland values.

• Significant reduction of disturbance events due to the wardening implementation. Improvement of the wetland environmental interpretation and ecotourism potential with reduction of the negative effects of visitor disturbance

• Improvement of the wet meadow biodiversity potential, for the proliferation of priority wading bird species.

• Increase of public awareness and local participation in conservation compatible economic activities. Changing of conservation related attitudes of local society towards wetland protection and sustainable management.

• Formulation of a wetland Management Agreement, establishment an operation of the Wetland Management Committee. Co-ordination of management actions affecting the wetland habitats and priority species.

 

 

Threat

 

Project actions and expected results

1. Mismanagement of the SPA site due to the lack of co-ordination between the various authorities engaged in wetland issues.

Formulation of a wetland Management Agreement, establishment an operation of the Wetland Management Committee. Co-ordination of management actions affecting the wetland habitats and priority species.

2. Water Eutrophication

Improvement of the wetland trophic status through the implementation of vegetation control measures (reedbed management), that will remove litter and plant biomass (5% of the total reed biomass per year) from the wetland, and increase water circulation. Implementation of a conservation compatible hydroperiod, will further enhance the wetland water quality.

3. Habitat homogenisation due to the expansion of the reed beds (Phragmites communis) in the shallow wetland and the wet meadow habitat

Elaboration of a site restoration plan, giving prescriptions for the most urgent habitat management measures, identified by the site Management Plan. Implementation of these measures. Vegetation management will include control of 5% or reedbed area per year. Among others it is expected an  increase of habitat heterogeneity, increase in the area of wet meadow area, open water and shallow open water habitats, establishment of riparian tree stands, enhancement of habitat conditions for fish and crayfish populations. An overall improvement of priority bird species habitat conditions, as well as of the socio-economic wetland values.

4. Human Disturbance

A site warden will be hired to assist local authorities in site wardening. A significant reduction of disturbance events due to the wardening implementation is expected. Improvement of the wetland environmental interpretation and ecotourism potential with reduction of the negative effects of visitor disturbance.

5. Overgrazing of the wet meadow habitats

A wet meadow grazing Management Plan will be produced and grazing management measures will be implemented at the wet meadow habitats of the wetland. An overall improvement of the wet meadow biodiversity potential, for the proliferation of priority wading bird species is expected.

6. Low public awareness and motivation towards wetland conservation

The operation of the wetland information centre, the creation of a wetland interpretation room, the publication of a leaflet and an ecotourism guide, the creation of an Environmental Education activities package, as well as nature trails and bird hides are expected to increase nature related activities, public awareness and local participation in conservation compatible economic activities. This will hopefully result in changing of conservation related attitudes of local society towards wetland protection and sustainable management.

 

 FINANCIAL INFORMATION

FUNDS FROM

FUND

% BUDGET

EU

506.100

60,00%

Prefecture of Pella

154.325

18,29%

Municipality of Edessa

154.145

18,27%

Endiaitima

20.930

2,48%

Development Agency

5.000

0,59%

N.AG.RE.F

3.000

0,36%

 

LIFE (C) 2005  .

WETLAND INFORMATION CENTRE

 

Project LIFE NATURA 2000
Wetland The Problems
Nature The Man
Coexistense Actions

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