Over EUR 2.7 mln in funding for protection of reptiles and amphibians
Over EUR 2.7 million is to be earmarked for the protection of reptiles and amphibians in the northeastern Polish Warminsko-mazurskie province and the Danish island of Skaro.
The project, co-financed by the EU's LIFE programme, foresees the creation of breeding habitats for the European pond turtle and the construction of winter reserves for the European fire-bellied toad, among other provisions.
Dr Anna Krzysztofiak, from the 'Man and Nature' association engaged in the project, told PAP that the aim of the undertaking is to improve the living conditions of amphibians and reptiles in five Natura 2000 areas: the Mazurian turtle refuges of Barnowo, the Piska refuge, the Romincka Forest, the Ilanka river estuary, and the South Funen Archipelago in Denmark. The protection operation will encompass the main populations of the pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and the European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina).
The species are not only recognised as endangered but are also so-called 'umbrella species,' i.e. their protection indirectly protects other species in their environment.
The project is to be carried out by 2023, contractors have already been selected for some of the planned activities and the initial work on breeding habitats for the pond turtle have already been conducted in the Mikołajki district.
The entire cost of the project is to reach EUR 2.77 million, of which 60 percent will be covered by the European Commission and the rest by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, the Regional Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Olsztyn and co-beneficiaries. The project's coordinating beneficiary is the Warminsko-mazurskie province and the managing beneficiary is the 'Man and Nature' association.