LIFE Project Cover Photo

Conservation and restoration of Mire Habitats

Reference: LIFE14 NAT/EE/000126 | Acronym: LIFE Mires Estonia



The priority habitat types – active raised bogs (7110), bog woodlands (91D0) and Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods (9080) – have become very rare in the EU. This is mainly due to the negative impact of drainage. Based on overall biogeographical assessments of Estonia, the status of the habitat types targeted by the project is neither favourable nor secure.


The overall objective of the LIFE Mires Estonia project is to secure the favourable conservation status of wetlands, especially mires and priority habitats protected by the Habitats Directive: active raised bogs, bog woodland and Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods.

Through the restoration of the hydrological regime and the abandoned peat mining areas, the project also aims to benefit fauna affected by drainage such as birds, amphibians, dragonflies and butterflies. The project will also raise awareness among the local population, present the project results nationally and internationally and develop a methodology and guidelines for the restoration of degraded mire habitats sites concurrently supporting western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), moor frog (Rana arvalis) and dragonfly (Leucorrhinia) populations.

The restoration and management activities will be carried out on six Natura 2000 areas and the hydrology improved on around 5800ha of which 3450 ha are Natura 2000 priority habitats.

Expected results:

  • Significant and sustained improvement of conditions of the EU priority habitats active raised bog habitats (2447.2 ha restored), bog woodland (567.8 ha), Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods (159 ha) and western taiga (276.2 ha);
  • Conditions sustained for western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), amphibian moor frog (Rana arvalis), and Leucorrhinia dragonfly populations;
  • Spatial planning methodology developed for reducing the potential negative impacts to these species due to restoration activities, e.g. removal of trees or sudden closure of drainage ditches; and
  • Public events to introduce restoration activities, study days for schoolchildren and teachers and the establishment of a LIFE trail.


    Reference: LIFE14 NAT/EE/000126
    Acronym: LIFE Mires Estonia
    Start Date: 01/09/2015
    End Date: 31/12/2021
    Total Budget: 2,815,576 €
    EU Contribution: 2,100,713 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Estonian Fund for Nature
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: Riia St. 185A, 51014, Tartu, Estonia Eesti
    Contact Person: Juri-Ott SALM
    Tel: +3725295933

    LIFE Project Map



    • Bogs and Mires


    • aquatic ecosystem
    • wetland
    • drainage system


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
    • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020” (03.05.2011)
    • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) (30.11.2009)


    • 3160 - Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
    • 3260 - Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
    • 6450 - Northern boreal alluvial meadows
    • 7110 - Active raised bogs
    • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
    • 7230 - Alkaline fens
    • 9010 - Western Taïga
    • 9080 - Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods
    • 91D0 - Bog woodland


    • Lagopus lagopus
    • Tetrao urogallus
    • Rana arvalis
    • Leucorrhinia pectoralis


    Type Code Name
    SPA EE0010173 Lahemaa (DEPRECATED)
    SPA EE0020205 Ohepalu (DEPRECATED)
    SPA EE0060209 Tudusoo (DEPRECATED)
    SPA EE0070171 Agusalu (DEPRECATED)
    SPA EE0070173 Sirtsi (DEPRECATED)
    SPA EE0080374 Alam-Pedja (DEPRECATED)
    SCI EE0070104 Sirtsi (DEPRECATED)


    Name Type
    Estonian Fund for Nature Coordinator
    Tartu Un.(University of Tartu), Estonia Participant
    ARHV(Arheovisioon MTÜ), Estonia Participant