Main results of EAGLELIFE project
The EAGLELIFE project was prolonged for one year due to unsuitable weather conditions on the flood plains; also, several problems and delays occured in reaching the milestones.
Although project was finished by the 31st of May 2009, some restoration work continued until September (costs were covered in that case by national funding). In general, all goals were achieved and, in most cases, results exceeded expectations (e.g., purchased land area, work with land owners, finding of new nests of target species, repeated sociological studies, etc.). The favourable conservation status of target species was achieved, partly through the implementation of previously-adopted national conservation action plans for the target species..
Results of the project are as follows:
- In total, 2,854 hectares of flood plains were restored in Natura 2000 sites as foraging areas of target species (of spotted eagles, mainly)
- Conservation Action Plans were updated during the EAGLELIFE project for all target species
- 76.8 hectares of old forest around black stork nest sites were aquired to ensure the high conservation status of nest sites. All this area belongs to Natura 2000 network.
- Over 200 new nest sites of target species were found and relevant micro-reserves established on over 6,000 hectares – only known nests could be protected. A study concerning micro-reserve size and other conditions was conducted, and the results were used for composing conservation rules for protected areas.
- High-quality materials were produced and disseminated among target groups (a DVD „The ABCs of Estonian Eagles“; the booklet „Eagles and Black Storks in Estonia“; a brochure and web-publication concerning guidelines for the elaboration of additional criteria for conservation obligations; several leaflets for land owners informing about the success of specific bird pairs on their landplot or about foraging areas of spotted eagles; posters, information boards, etc.)
- In total, 84 regional seminars involving over 3,550 participants were conducted during the EAGLELIFE project.
- Web cameras on Black Stork- and Lesser Spotted Eagles nests were installed, and over 8.3 million observers watched the streaming video.
- A sociological study was conducted twice – first to understand the needs of raising awareness and then to monitor project results. Also, the study was useful in providing guidelines for post-EAGLELIFE activities in awareness raising.
- During five years, the EAGLELIFE project and actions concerning its target species were introduced nearly 300 times in a variety of media.
- Significant international co-operation was established in the field of eagles and Black Stork conservation, and is continuing within the Eagle Club of Estonia. We are able to advise colleagues in other countries in several aspects of species conservation, including the use of satellite transmitters use and installation of webcams.
The Estonian Ornithological Society and the project manager acknowledge the partners– especially the Environmental Board and Eagle Club for their perfect partnership within the EAGLELIFE project. Also, we thank the external team and desk officers of EC LIFE Unit for their remarkable help!