Breeding sites for birds on islands located in large ponds and reservoirs are subject to degradation caused by waves undermining the banks or by flooding at high water levels. Where this happens, reinforcement is required. A majority of islands in the Upper Vistula River Valley (in southern Poland) are overgrown with high and thick vegetation which prevents nesting of the common tern. Damage to pond dykes results in seepage and outflow of water, thus causing a threat of pond drainage. Therefore, clearing overgrowth on islands and retaining water in ponds are necessary measures to conserve habitats for water birds in the Natura 2000 network sites of the Upper Vistula River Valley. Moreover, the current state of knowledge of habitats preferred by the night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is insufficient to enable comprehensive protection of the species.
The main objective of the LIFE.VISTULA.PL project is to protect and improve habitats of water birds, in particular the common tern (Sterna hirundo) and the night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), in four Natura 2000 network sites of the Upper Vistula River Valley in Poland.
This objective will be achieved through actions that:
The beneficiary expects the increase of the night heron population to about 850 breeding pairs (compared with 763 breeding pairs in 2015) by the end of the project, and to 1 000 breeding pairs five years after the project?s completion. The expected increase of the common tern population is 650 breeding pairs (compared with 541 breeding pairs in 2015) by the end of the project, rising to 850 breeding pairs five years after the project end.