SemiAquaticLife - Re-creating habitat complexity for semi-aquatic fauna

LIFE14 NAT/SE/000201

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Kristian Nilsson
Email: kristian.nilsson@lansstyrelsen.se

Project description:


Freshwater ecosystems are vital for biodiversity and human wellbeing. Wetlands harbour multiple organisms that are at least partially dependent on freshwaters for completing their lifecycle. Amphibians and invertebrates are key components of wetlands, and these groups contain numerous endangered species. The semi-aquatic lifecycle of these groups make them particularly susceptible to changes in the quality, abundance and distance between wetlands. The condition of surrounding terrestrial habitats is also significant.

Many herptiles (reptile or amphibian) and insect species have been subject to dramatic declines due to human disturbance – e.g. draining of wetlands, urbanisation and fragmentation of the landscape. Invasive alien species, including diseases, also pose global threats to the native semi-aquatic fauna. In Europe, many herptiles and insects are dependent on Natura 2000 sites and other protected areas for their long-term survival. A key factor for long-term survival of reptiles or amphibians and insects with limited dispersal abilities is that populations must be able to thrive in a metapopulation. This means that there must be a minimum number of suitable breeding sites within dispersal distance. Moreover, the terrestrial environment must also provide suitable habitats for feeding, hibernation and protection against predators.

Previous work at Natura 2000 sites typically focused on actions in either aquatic or terrestrial habitats.


The objective of the SemiAquaticLife project is to restore and improve the conservation status of herptiles and semi-aquatic insects in Natura 2000 sites in southern Sweden (11 sites), Denmark (19 sites) and Germany (9 sites). The goal is to ensure viable metapopulations of species listed in the annexes of the Habitats Directive. Focus will be on listed herptiles and invertebrates and improvement of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Another objective is to increase awareness and acceptance among stakeholders and the general public of the need for restoration actions for semiaquatic fauna and herptiles. Finally, the main results of the project will be summarised in guidelines of best practices that will provide European conservation recommendations.

Expected results:

  • Some 179-207 new wetlands created and 196 wetlands restored by digging and restoring wetlands;
  • Hibernation spots created with 148 piles of gravel, stones, dead wood or shrubberies;
  • Some 57 ha of bushes, trees and invasive flora cleared and fencing erected for 8.8 km;
  • Species reintroduction and supportive breeding for Lacerta agilis (DE), Bombina, bombina (DK, DE, SE), Pelobates fuscus (DE, SE), Bufo viridis (DE), Hyla arborea (DK), Epidalea calamita (DK, SE);
  • Information material and exhibitions (E-actions) aimed at the public offering an introduction to the life and ecology of the semi-aquatic fauna and herptiles;
  • Site specific management plans for future conservation produced for all 40 project sites;
  • Outcome of the conservation actions assessed by monitoring colonisation success of the listed semi-aquatic fauna and herptiles in the restored/created habitats. (The conditions for a viable metapopulation are expected to be established during the project period and good population status of the focus species not later than five years after completion of the project.);
  • Monitoring of the ecosystem services and the socio-economic aspects providing additional information about the effects of restoration actions not just for biodiversity, but also for human well-being; and
  • A comprehensive guide on how to successfully apply and evaluate ‘best practice’ methods for restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Freshwater
Species - Reptiles
Species - Amphibians
Species - Invertebrates


endangered species‚  aquatic ecosystem‚  draining‚  introduction of animal species‚  wetland‚  management plan‚  restoration measure

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(95) 189 - "Communication on the judicious use and conservation of wetlands" (12.12.1995)
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • COM(2013) 249 final “Communication from the Commission on Green Infrastructure (GI) - Enhancing E ...
  • COM(2013) 620 final “Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on t ...

Target species

 Bombina bombina   Bufo calamita   Bufo viridis   Dytiscus latissimus   Epidalea calamita   Graphoderus bilineatus   Hyla arborea   Lacerta agilis   Leucorrhinia albifrons   Leucorrhinia pectoralis   Pelobates fuscus   Rana dalmatina   Triturus cristatus     

Natura 2000 sites

SCI DK002X110 Saltholm og omliggende hav
SCI DK002X111 Vestamager og havet syd for
SPA DK005X094 Sejrø Bugt og Nekselø
SPA DK005X098 Sprogø og Halskov Rev
SPA DK006X081 Karrebæk, Dybsø og Avnø Fjorde
SPA DK006X089 Præstø Fjord, Ulfshale, Nyord og Jungshoved Nor
SPA DK006Y091 Holmegårds Mose og Porsmose
SPA DK008X071 Sydfynske Øhav
SPA DK008X076 Æbelø og kysten ved Nærå
SPA DK00AX050 Kallesmærsk Hede og Grærup Langsø
SPA SE0430002 Falsterbo-Foteviken
SPA SE0430091 Löddeåns mynning
SCI DE2123301 Binnendünen Nordoe
SCI DK005X221 Sejerø Bugt og Saltbæk Vig
SCI DK005Y229 Skælskør Fjord og havet og kysten mellem Agersø og Glænø
SCI DK006X233 Havet og kysten mellem Præstø Fjord og Grønsund
SCI DK006X234 Havet og kysten mellem Karrebæk Fjord og Knudshoved Odde
SCI DK006Y275 Suså med Tystrup-Bavelse Sø og Slagmosen
SCI DK007X080 Almindingen, Ølene og Paradisbakkerne
SCI DK008X184 Æbelø, havet syd for og Nærå
SCI DK008X190 Centrale Storebælt og Vresen
SCI DK009X058 Hostrup Sø, Assenholm Mose og Felsted Vestermark
SCI DK009X059 Pamhule Skov og Stevning Dam
SCI DK009X068 Rinkenæs Skov, Dyrehaven og Rode Skov
SCI DK009X070 Frøslev Mose
SCI DK009X271 Lilleskov og Troldsmose
SCI DK00AX173 Kallesmærsk Hede, Grærup Langsø, Fiilsø og Kærgård Klitplantage
SCI SE0420130 Bäckhalladalen
SCI SE0420206 Gladsaxhallar och Tobisviksheden
SCI SE0420240 Ravlunda skjutfält
SCI SE0430095 Falsterbohalvön
SCI SE0430111 Falsterbo skjutfält
SCI SE0430113 Revingefältet
SPA DE1123491 Flensburger Förde
SPA DE1423491 Schlei
SCI DE1121391 NSG Fröslev-Jardelunder Moor
SCI DE1219391 Gewässer des Bongsieler Kanal-Systems
SCI DE1322391 Treene Winderatter See bis Friedrichstadt und Bollingstedter Au
SCI DE1532391 Küstenstreifen West- und Nordfehmarn
SCI DE1629320 Hohenfelder Mühlenau
SCI DE2329352 Pantener Moorweiher und Umgebung
SCI DK003X297 Jægerspris Skydeterræn
SCI SE0430149 Tygelsjö-Gessie
SCI SE0430150 Vellinge ängar
SCI SE0430157 Limhamns kalkbrott
SCI SE0430174 Fågelsjön
SCI DE1123393 Küstenbereiche Flensburger Förde von Flensburg bis Geltinger Birk
SCI DE1423394 Schlei incl. Schleimünde und vorgelagerter Flachgründe



Coordinator County Administrative Board of Skåne
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The County Administrative Board of Skåne is responsible for overseeing that national goals are implemented in the county. The board is a cross-section regional government body employing around 550 people on issues such as nature conservation, environmental protection, animal protection, agriculture, hunting and fishing. The environment section of County Administrative Board of Kristianstad has a thorough knowledge of and competence in covering protection of species and habitats.
Partners AC(Amphi Consult), Denmark StN(Stiftung Naturschutz Schleswig-Holstein), Germany FMK(Faaborg-Midtfyn Kommune), Denmark FBE(Forsvarets Bygnings- og Etablissementstjeneste), Denmark NST(Nature Agency, Denmark), Denmark


Project reference LIFE14 NAT/SE/000201
Duration 01-JAN-2016 to 31-DEC -2020
Total budget 5,805,123.00 €
EU contribution 3,478,377.00 €
Project location Schleswig-Holstein(Deutschland) Hovedstaden(Danmark) Sjælland(Danmark) Syddanmark(Danmark) Midtjylland(Danmark) Sydsverige(Sverige)


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