Nemunas delta with Rusne island is located in a western part of Lithuania. It is 4691 km2 and it has 1984 inhabitants. There is only one bridge over the biggest river Nemunas to reach the coast. On a most of the island there are installed polders system with many watercourses and ditches. On the island there is an open polder meadow landscape. Part of the inhabitants is working in small extensive farms.
After collective farming has collapsed part of Rusne meadows became unused. Degradation process has begun. Meadow territories became unsuitable for rare birds to breed and rest. New farmers often don’t have enough economical resources, theoretical ant practical knowledge about farming. Often farmers are seeking economical benefit forgetting about biodiversity and water pollution facts. The experience of activities on meadow management and education of farmers, which began in early 1995, shows, that project activities must be implemented in the future and in more large scale.
Project will protect these globally vanishing birds: great snipe (Gallinago media), corncrake (Crex crex) aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola). Also project actions will involve focus on birds of EU interest as black-tailed godwit (Llimosa limosa). Project activity should increase local rare bird’s population by 10 to 40 percent. This will be achieved through combination of appropriate grazing through hardy cattle and hay cutting in coherence with both socio-economic demands of local farmers and requirements of species protection. Local communities will take part in monitoring and evaluation of the project.