The main projects

Development of a Pilot Ecological Network through Nature Frame areas in South Lithuania (2010 - 2014)

Throughout 2010 - 2014, the Lithuanian Fund for Nature will be carrying out, in cooperation with other environmental organizations, the Life+Nature Project, “Development of a Pilot Ecological Network through Nature Frame areas in South Lithuania.” The associated partners of this project are the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, the Dzūkija National Park, the Meteliai and the Veisiejai Regional Parks, the Lithuanian Zoo, and the international consulting company AmphiConsult. The project encompasses three major types of activities: protection of target species and restoration of their habitats, creation of an ecological network, and education of local communities.

Within the project, the target species are reptilian and amphibian species, listed in Annexes 2 and 4 of the Habitats Directive: the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), the European tree frog (Hyla arborea), the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina), the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita), the European green toad (Bufo viridis), the European spadefood toad (Pelobates fuscus), the moor frog (Rana arvalis), the pool frog (Rana lessonae), and the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), in addition to a good number of bird and invertebrate species that need small standing-water bodies, meadows, and sandy non-shrubby slopes.

These species fall under a series of designated protective actions, such as the digging of ponds and restoring of wetlands, the preparation and surveillance of sites for turtles to lay eggs, the collection of eggs laid in sites considered unsafe, the raising of turtle juveniles, the breeding of tree frogs or collection of their eggs and raising of their juveniles, the strengthening of sustainable farming, and so forth. These actions will be carried out to create ecological corridors in between the protected areas designated for the target species.
Presently, the existing state of the Nature Frame as well as the “Natura 2000” areas located in Southern Lithuania cannot ensure the protection of these species. Nor does it provide for migration routes among the habitats of the greatest bioecological importance. Therefore, this project aims at creating ecological corridors in Southern Lithuania, which would ensure a solid protection of the selected species and thus increase the ecological value of this region.

Another direction the project will be taking is the establishment of criteria for an ecological network. These criteria will be designed for the protection of every kind of biological diversity. Such an ecological network model will be applied to the entire territory of Lithuania.
All actions will be coordinated with local communities. To them, we will explain the usefulness of such actions not only for the nature but also for people as well. For the environmental education of local communities, we will use educational materials, organise events, and publish articles in local and national newspapers, the project’s webpage, and educational walking trails.

Contract No. LIFE09 NAT/LT/000581 for the Implementation of the Project between the Lithuanian Fund for Nature and the European Committee was signed on October 13, 2010. The European Committee endorses this project by providing fifty percent of the funds necessary. The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania will provide twenty-five percent of the funds while our partners and donors will finance the remaining quarter.