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.