“PROTECTING THE HABITATS OF PRIORITY BIRD SPECIES OF THE VISTULA VALLEY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF INTENSIVE PRESSURE OF WARSAW AGGLOMERATION”
1. Planning (A.1 – A.8) In the first phase of the project foreseen are actions focused on choice of methods and measures needed to implementation of most of the actions. This will include preparation of: – Complex preparatory concept (project financial documentation) for investment actions (C.1 – C.5), concerning habitat renaturalisation and protection. Earlier inventory of the area, environmental expertises and permissions and administrative decisions will be obtained. – Technological concept and video sets for monitoring of habitats and bird on-line observations from cameras located in the field, – Social awareness campaign plan for promotion, information and education, preceded by public awareness studies in Warsaw – Site Management Plan, concerning joint implementation of conservation action by different institution.
2. Concrete habitat conservation (C.1 – C.3) Investment actions regarding wading birds habitat renaturalisation and protection, which will be mostly concentrated in the Vistula Valley within the city, that has been in the past artificially narrowed and deepened through regulation actions: – Building of at least: 1 stable island, 2 sandy shoals and 4 artificial floating islands constructed on 120 t barge. The surface of stable, periodical and floating islands and will be adapted for birds to start and successfully finish the breeds, i.e. thanks to use of incentives like bird imitations, excrements and nests and will be protected from predators and penetration; – Exposure of sandy riverbanks overgrown with bushes within the city and on the area where the islands and sandy shoals will be created, then initial stadiums of natural succession will be sustained. Thanks to this sandy riverbanks will be restored, which will potentially become a place for birds to rest during migration or feeding, especially within the city.
3. Habitat protection (C.4, C.5) The project’s site is located in the centre of the big city. Due to the fact, it is essential to implement actions concerning avoidance of unfavourable impacts of human presence, that can threaten the animals and natural habitats. Close neighbourhood of protected area from Natura 2000 network and Warsaw community demands on rational access to the river for recreation. Within the project the city plans to: – Use different types of fences, ditches, boards, signs to protect chosen parts of the project area from people and predators; – Make the area available in specific places, instead of free penetration of the whole area, through location of parking places, educational paths, access points for the beaches, where educational pavilions, viewing towers and picnic infrastructure will be placed; – Equipping municipal police in equipment to fast interventions and special training on protected areas, legal basis and intervention possibilities.
4. Habitat and birds monitoring (E.1, E.3) Permanent monitoring is essential for checking the real effects of implemented project actions aimed at birds protection. Thanks to monitoring results it is possible for example show trends in numbers of birds nesting in the area, its causes and analyse impact of different factors on birdlife. In the project two parallel complementary monitoring schemes and three reports are foreseen: – Traditional birds and habitats monitoring, implemented as systematic observations by ornithologists according to chosen methodology on the whole project area, consisting of the research in the riverbed and in area between embankments covered with riparian forests. – Habitat monitoring and monitoring of chosen bird colonies on line, with use of video and data transfer technologies.
5. Information, promotion and education (D.1 – D.3) Demonstrative and innovative character of the project and its implementation on the area of the city of Warsaw demands many informative, educational and promotional actions. Those actions will be prepared in a form of big social campaign and will aim at raising public awareness and good pro-ecological habits among Warsaw citizens, popularisation of knowledge about birds and nature at the Vistula river, propagation of the idea of Natura 2000 network and discovery of values within the project’s area. Planned actions include:
a. Informative actions: – Web-site – basic mean of communication about the project’s actions and the base of knowledge on the project’s area, on which i.e. the webcams showing Vistula river and birds will be available, – Information boards in the field – Workshops with attendance of specialists
b. Promotional actions: – Photography exhibitions – Diverse promotional materials (leaflets, posters, brochures, guides)
c. Educational actions: – Workshops for teachers – Ornithological guided tours for schoolchildren and citizens of Warsaw – Educational materials – Educational film – CD with voices of birds and guide about the project’s areas – Buoys to appoint the waterways on the river – Press advertisements – Media debates – Meetings with citizens
6. Social participation (E.2, E.4) The participation of the society in project’s action will have variety of forms. Mentioned should be: – Participation in public awareness and social research, conducted to understand the needs of citizens and assessing their knowledge and opinions on nature conservation, to enable obtaining the best social results of the project; – Voluntary work on nature protection in the project’s area – it will be available for all interested in participation in project’s team actions – the work would consist of observations of the chosen fragment of the river to look for interesting incidents and threats, and sending the information by text message to the project’s web-site or to municipal police. – Participation in meetings, workshops, seminars and consultation with attendance of experts, ecologists, practices, which will be organised to exchange the experiences and best practices and consultations of project actions.
7. Management, coordination (E.5 – E.9) The complexity of the project and problems with competences in management of the project’s area through different institutions demand on technical support and regular controls of the project’s implementation process. To efficiently manage, coordinate and control the project implementation it is planned: – Setting up a Project Steering Committee, including members from different institutions, administration, non-governmental organisations, social workers, whose main task will be monitoring of the project’s implementation and supervision of the preparation process of Site Management Plan; – Implementation of Site Management Plan; – Regular project’s implementation reports: inception report, interim report, final report and preparation of “Laymen’s report” in a non-specialist languages; – Preparation of guidelines for continuation of the actions after the end of the project “After-LIFE Conservation Plan”.