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Habitat optimisation in a local breeding population of Black-tailed Godwits in the NATURA 2000 site "NSG Hetter-Millinger Bruch, mit Erweiterung" (Limosa-Habitat Hetter)
Date du début: 1 janv. 2009, Date de fin: 31 déc. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background The Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Hetter-Millinger Bruch, is part of the Special Protection Area (SPA) Unterer Niederrhein, an area consisting of 21 000 ha. It is one of the largest and most important breeding, roosting and wintering sites in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The project area covers 665 ha and comprises up to 20% of the black-tailed godwit's breeding population in NRW. Some 30 bird species of European interest as listed in appendix I and article IV of the Birds Directive inhabit the nature protection site Hetter-Millinger Bruch. Bird species adapted to wetland habitats breed in the projected site, including shoveler (Anas clypeata), garganey (Anas querquedula), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), redshank (Tringa tetanus), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) and Eurasian Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). Numbers of these breeding meadow birds and of resting birds, such as the ruff (Philomachus pugnax) and the golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) are declining rapidly. This decline is caused by extreme changes in land-use practice, in particular intensification of agriculture. Draining leads to the loss of shallow waters in the grassland, winter flooding and high groundwater levels. Moreover, as a result of these impacts, mowing is beginning earlier in the year, the use of fertilisers is increasing, and the number of livestock in the fields is falling. Objectives The project aims to stop and reverse the negative trend of breeding bird populations and to improve food supply, especially for waders and meadow birds. An integrated water and farming management plan will be drawn up and implemented to optimise the meadow area within the project site. Land will be purchased to enable the creation of an area of connected grassland uninterrupted by private property. The specific objectives are to: Purchase 21ha of grassland in the project area; Implement a system of connected ditches that optimises the water level within the breeding area of the black-tailed godwits; Remove 1 km of old mud deposits close to the banks of the Landwehr ditch; Optimise at least 300 m of banks of ditches, 10 single patches of grassland and 10 shallow depressions of land that contain water when the groundwater-level is high and serve as a food reservoir until late spring; Ecologically optimise 13 shallow water pools in the grassland; Increase the number of breeding territories; Increase the number of successful breeders with juveniles; Re-colonise formerly occupied sites with black-tailed godwits (and other meadow birds); Prolong the time black-tailed godwits dwell at breeding sites. Expected results: Construction of shallow land depressions and optimisation of small water pools in the grassland; Removal of muddy wall close to the banks of Landwehr to improve food availability in the soil; Lowering of the banks of the Landwehr and construction of a corresponding circle of ditches to increase the area of grasslands optimised for meadow birds with the aim of extending breeding sites for Black-tailed Godwits south- and westwards; Purchase of 21 ha of wet meadows.


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