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Come and restore rare fresh water pearl mussel habitats and crowberry heaths!

 Photo: Target species of the project, the Clouded Apollo in the Lahemaa National Park on the meadow of Altja river. Photo credit: Merili Martverk.
Photo: Target species of the project, the Clouded Apollo in the Lahemaa National Park on the meadow of Altja river. Photo credit: Merili Martverk.

During the activities organized by the Environmental Board, anyone can join hands in improving the conditions of rare species found in Estonia, learn about our fascinating natural riches and enjoy a sizzling steam sauna as an award for the job well done.

The conservation activities organized by the Environmental Board take place in the framework of the Estonian-Finnish collaboration project LIFE “Restoration of Baltic Coastal Habitat Networks”. In order to involve as many people as possible in the maintenance activities of our coastal wildlife habitats, there are orgnized approximately 30 conservation holidays across Estonia and Finland within the framework. That is why the Environmental Board invites the activists to the project territories in Lahemaa National Park on the river Pärlijõgi and Kolga Bay Landscape Reserve on Rammu island.

The goal of the Pärlijõe conservation holidays, taking place from 12th to 14th July, is to improve the habitats of the fresh water pearl mussel habitats both in Estonia and in the world. The span of life of the fresh water pearl mussel may reach, in good conditions, and in cool and clean salmonidae-habited river water, over 130 years. During the conservation holidays, the beaver dams on the river Pärlijõgi will be distructed, the migration barriers for salmonidae will be removed and the spawning pools of the salmonidae will be cleaned. During the breaks, there are held discussions about the unique way of life of the main character of the holidays, the less-known fresh water pearl mussel, bear traces are looked for in the largest national park of Estonia, it is possible to learn how to listen to and notice the presence of bats, and to enjoy the traditional sauna.

During the conservation holidays on Rammu Island, taking place from 19th to 21st July, the crowberry heaths, that have become increasingly rare in Estonia, will be restored. To avoid the growth of junipers and small pines on the heaths rich in species, they must be removed from there. The trees cover the habitats of sun-adapted species, and the falling pine thorns, acidifying the soil, undermine the growth characteristic groung vegetation layer of the heath. During the conservation holidays, we will discover the fascinating history and natural riches of Rammu Island and finish our day, visiting a local Finnish sauna.

“Taking part in the conservation holidays is a great way to join the conservation work that is necessary to be executed and beneficial with a memorable experience in picturesque areas that people wouldn't otherwise have a chance to go to. Individuals, families as well as groups of friends and other groups are welcome. We will contribute together to the preservation of the rare species in the Estonian nature also in the future,” said Riina Martverk, Project Manager of the Environmental Board.

This spring, within the project framework, there has already been hosted a raccoon and mink hunt on the small islands of Kolga bay to control the dangerous alien species and protect the birds nesting on the islands from predation. In Tallinn, 16 hectares of reed beds and 5 hectares of bush beds have been debudded by the project partner Tallinn City on the Paljassaare peninsula to restore coastal meadows rich in species, and this summer the area is occupied by nearly 40 bovine animals. Fieldwork is underway on several rivers and their coasts flowing into the Gulf of Finland within the Lahemaa National Park to verify the condition of habitats and species and to plan the activities to improve their living conditions. Relying on the results of the fieldwork, recovery plans for species and habitats will be prepared and applied over the next five project years.

The Estonian-Finnish joint project LIFE “Rehabilitation of Baltic Coastal Habitat Networks” is aimed at the restoration of coastal waters and ecosystems, small islands, rivers and coastal areas and aquatic biota and will last until 31st March 2025. More information about the project may be found on the website of the Environmental Board.

More information:
Riina Martverk
Project Manager of the Environmental Board
telephone: 5119 332

Information on conservation holidays:
Kristo Pärn
Conservation Holidays Coordinator
telephone: 5621 1860

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