LITCOAST - Natura 2000 site conservation and management on the Lithuanian coast

LIFE05 NAT/LT/000095

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jurate Morkvenaite
Tel: +370 46 310870
Fax: +370 46 380650
Email: zvejone@zvejone.lt

Project description:


The Lithuanian Baltic seashore stretches for over 90 km, of which 52 km are along the Curonian Spit, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to the highest moving (drifting) sand dunes in Europe. The 1 584 km² Curonian Lagoon is the largest lagoon in the south-east Baltic region. Part of the lagoon belongs to the Nemunas Delta regional park, which is also a 2 800 ha internationally important Ramsar wetland site. Finally, the northern part of the lagoon is a European important bird area (IBA).


The project area covered a total of 60 000 ha of Lithuanian coastal areas, encompassing the terrestrial areas within the Curonian Spit national park, the Nemunas Delta regional park and the entire Lithuanian part of the Curonian Lagoon. Within this area, the project aimed to ensure a favourable conservation status for seven habitats, four bird species and one plant species of Community importance listed in the annexes of the EU nature directives. The project would also prepare management plans and establish new Natura 2000 coastal sites for the protection of rare and endangered birds, fish and habitats in the targeted areas. Information material would be prepared on the protection, supervision, management and observation of habitats and species. Finally, the project aimed to improve public awareness about the protection and sustainable management of the country's Natura 2000 coastal sites.


The main project actions included:

  • Reinforcement of vulnerable dune areas, particularly threatened by erosion, over an area of 300 000 m2, along a stretch of 20 km;
  • Construction of 1 500 m2 of boardwalks and steps within the Curonian Spit national park and the Nemunas Delta coastal regional park;
  • Restoration of habitats facing extinction over 1 600 ha of seashore (this included some 50% of all Lithuanian coastal grasslands and dunes);
  • Key areas of the Curonian Lagoon for the protection of habitats and species were designated as new Natura 2000 sites. Management plans and monitoring schemes for three coastal Natura 2000 sites were prepared and adopted.
  • Mitigation measures for the reduction of the negative impact of commercial fishery on birds and rare species of fish were proposed and incorporated into site management plans.
  • Artificial nesting platforms (20) were constructed for the birds of prey, the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and black Kite (Milvus migrans); and
  • Grazing with sheep was introduced to targeted areas of coastal grasslands.
  • Importantly, the project claims favourable conditions have been secured for the survival of a number of threatened Lithuanian coastal habitats and species. And looking ahead, the project says its actions have provided the material and technical means to enable the long-term upkeep and monitoring of the coastal habitats and species within the project area.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Plants
Habitats - Coastal


protected area‚  coastal area‚  wetland‚  nature conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Alosa fallax   Anthus campestris   Aspius aspius   Haliaeetus albicilla   Linaria loeselii   Lullula arborea   Milvus migrans   Pelecus cultratus   Salmo salar 

Target Habitat types

  • 1150 - Coastal lagoons
  • 2110 - Embryonic shifting dunes
  • 2120 - Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria ("white dunes")
  • 2130 - Fixed coastal dunes with herbaceous vegetation ("grey dunes")
  • 2140 - Decalcified fixed dunes with Empetrum nigrum
  • 2170 - Dunes with Salix repens ssp. argentea (Salicion arenariae)
  • 2320 - Dry sand heaths with Calluna and Empetrum nigrum
  • 6210 - Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)

Natura 2000 sites

SCI LTKLA0009 Pajurio kopos
SCI LTSIU0012 Kurðiu marios



Coordinator Ecological Club "Zvejone"
Type of organisation Development agency
Description Zvejone Club was registered in 1994 as a development agency in the Klaipeda municipality. Its main goal is to promote the environmentally sustainable and nature-friendly development of Klaipeda and the Lithuanian coastal region.
Partners Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University, Lithuania Kuršių Nerija National Park, Lithuania Pajūris Regional Park, Lithuania


Project reference LIFE05 NAT/LT/000095
Duration 01-OCT-2005 to 30-SEP -2008
Total budget 642,045.00 €
EU contribution 321,022.00 €
Project location Associated Lithuania (LT)(Lithuania Lietuva)


Read more:

Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN/LT)
Video link "Natura 2000 Lietuvos pajuryje : I dalis Uzuomazgines ir Baltosios kopos" (52')
Video link "Natura 2000 Lietuvos pajuryje. I dalis : Pilkosios kopos, Smelynu tyruliai ir Laguna" (60')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version