Boreal Peatland LIFE -project – The effect of mire restoration on mire bird abundance and species richness
Drainage is a serious threat to Finnish mire birds and populations of several mire birds have declined during recent decades. Here we report results on mire bird diversity and abundance from the Boreal Peatland Life project, in which valuable mire areas in Natura 2000 network have been restored and monitored to evaluate the success of restoration. Our unique census data on mire birds revealed that in the drained sites, species diversity and abundance of mire birds was lower than in the pristine sites. The number of mire bird species tended to increase in restored sites right after restoration but the pattern was not very clear a few years after the restoration. In other than mire birds, there were more species in drained sites before restoration but restoration had no effect. The theme species Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) was missing in all treatment sites before restoration, but was observed during first census after restoration in 4 sites out of 10 (in pristine sites species was observed in 7 of 10 sites). To increase the knowledge about the long term effects of restoration monitoring should be continued. Changes after historical wide-ranging peatland drainage may not be overturned, but under many mire bird species, restored mires can act as breeding patches that slow down the loss of species at the local level.
Suoverkosto LIFE -hankkeen julkaisu.