LIFE Mires Estonia - Conservation and restoration of Mire Habitats

LIFE14 NAT/EE/000126

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jüri-Ott Salm
Tel: 3725295933
Email: jott@elfond.ee

Project description:


The priority habitat types – active raised bogs (7110), bog woodlands (91D0) and Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods (9080) – have become very rare in the EU. This is mainly due to the negative impact of drainage. Based on overall biogeographical assessments of Estonia, the status of the habitat types targeted by the project is neither favourable nor secure.


The overall objective of the LIFE Mires Estonia project is to secure the favourable conservation status of wetlands, especially mires and priority habitats protected by the Habitats Directive: active raised bogs, bog woodland and Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods.

Through the restoration of the hydrological regime and the abandoned peat mining areas, the project also aims to benefit fauna affected by drainage such as birds, amphibians, dragonflies and butterflies. The project will also raise awareness among the local population, present the project results nationally and internationally and develop a methodology and guidelines for the restoration of degraded mire habitats sites concurrently supporting western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), moor frog (Rana arvalis) and dragonfly (Leucorrhinia) populations.

The restoration and management activities will be carried out on six Natura 2000 areas and the hydrology improved on around 5800ha of which 3450 ha are Natura 2000 priority habitats.

Expected results:

  • Significant and sustained improvement of conditions of the EU priority habitats active raised bog habitats (2447.2 ha restored), bog woodland (567.8 ha), Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods (159 ha) and western taiga (276.2 ha);
  • Conditions sustained for western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), amphibian moor frog (Rana arvalis), and Leucorrhinia dragonfly populations;
  • Spatial planning methodology developed for reducing the potential negative impacts to these species due to restoration activities, e.g. removal of trees or sudden closure of drainage ditches; and
  • Public events to introduce restoration activities, study days for schoolchildren and teachers and the establishment of a LIFE trail.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Bogs and Mires


drainage system‚  aquatic ecosystem‚  wetland

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 ...
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...

Target species

 Lagopus lagopus   Leucorrhinia pectoralis   Rana arvalis   Tetrao urogallus     

Target Habitat types

  • 6450 - Northern boreal alluvial meadows
  • 7110 - Active raised bogs
  • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
  • 7230 - Alkaline fens
  • 9010 - Western Taïga
  • 9080 - Fennoscandian deciduous swamp woods
  • 91D0 - Bog woodland
  • 3160 - Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
  • 3260 - Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation

Natura 2000 sites

SCI EE0010173 Lahemaa
SCI EE0020205 Ohepalu
SCI EE0060209 Tudusoo
SCI EE0070171 Agusalu
SPA EE0070173 Sirtsi
SCI EE0080374 Alam-Pedja
SCI EE0070104 Sirtsi



Coordinator Estonian Fund for Nature
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Estonian Fund for Nature (Eestimaa Looduse Fond) was founded in 1991 in close co-operation with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with the aim of protecting the Estonian nature and its diversity. Its main areas of focus are forests, wetlands and the sea.
Partners Tartu Un.(University of Tartu), Estonia ARHV(Arheovisioon MTÜ), Estonia


Project reference LIFE14 NAT/EE/000126
Duration 01-SEP-2015 to 31-DEC -2022
Total budget 2,815,576.00 €
EU contribution 2,100,713.00 €
Project location Kesk-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Kirde-Eesti(Estonia Eesti)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: Case study "Arheoloogiliste eeluuringute kava Life Mires Esto ...
Publication: Case study "Palasi mahajäetud turbatootmisalal soo taastamise ...
Publication: Case study "Mudel rabakonna (Rana arvalis) elupaikade prognoo ...
Publication: Case study "Kokkuvõte LIFE Mires Estonia õppereisist Rootsi 9 ...
Publication: Case study "Mudel rabakiilide (Leucorrhinia spp.) elupaikade ...
Publication: Technical report "Soosaare soo taastamiskava" (7.94 MB)


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