Active Protection


Until recently, almost across the whole area of meadows along the Upper Narew Valley, local farmers have extensively managed their land, which supported breeding water birds and waders. Along with the reduction of mowing and almost complete disappearance of grazing cattle and horses, there has been a problem of natural succession, manifested especially in the development of high herbaceous vegetation communities and reeds. These changes have adversely affected populations of especially waders such as lapwing, black-tailed godwit, redshank, as well as much rarer great snipe. The need to halt the adverse habitat changes responsible for the decline of rare and valuable species, promoted the development of the great snipe active protection project.

The main objectives of the project are to:

• purchase of 160 ha and restore 230 ha of grasslands through their initial mowing and clearing the scrub;

• construct fords and repair access roads to the selected meadows to allow mowing and removal of hay;

• decrease and slow down the outflow of water locally through the construction of weirs on drainage ditches;

• study the local and long-distance movements of great snipe and its habitat preferences, and the implementation of the results to strategic documents outlining conservation measures for the species; and

• raise ecological awareness amongst the local community and tourists, including the construction of an observation tower at one of the widely known lekking sites, which will serve to control the tourists' movement in this place.