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ACTION A.1: Inventory of White Stork nests in Lithuania
The aim of this action is to precisely inventorise and document all the White Stork nests in Lithuania. Both inhabited and abandoned nests will be registered and described in detail. The survey of White Stork nests will take place in entire territory of Lithuania, by visiting and surveying suitable breeding habitats for these birds (agricultural landscape, villages, settlements, open abandoned areas, etc.). The survey will be carried out from May to August during the first two years of the project. The survey itself will be carried out by trained surveyors inspecting the countryside by cars. All the collected data will be entered into a specially developed GIS database, which will allow extensive data visualisation and analysis. This data will be used to plan all the White Stork nest management and conservation activities. The data collected during the inventory will also be used for the preparation of the White Stork action plan for Lithuania. as well as for identification of the level of protection of White Storks in the already established Natura 2000 SPAs and for identification of the most valuable areas for the conservation of White Storks in Lithuania. All this data will be made publicly available through a special web-based GIS interface.

ACTION A.2: Elaboration of White Stork nest GIS database and data analysis
A comprehensive GIS database will be designed and created for storage and further analysis of the information on all the White Stork nests in Lithuania. The main function of the database in this project will be storage of White Stork nest inventory data and later analysis of this data.

ACTION A.3: Elaboration of White Stork nest management measures
This preparatory action aims at finding the optimal solution for management of the White Stork nests. For this purpose the previously used nesting platforms (both the metal ones, used for the overhead electricity line poles, and wooden ones, used for building roofs) will be analysed by an expert engineer in order to optimise their construction to maximise their durability and stability, optimise weight distribution and minimise production costs.

ACTION A.4: Adjustment of legislation related to the protection of White Stork nests
Management of White Stork nests on the overhead electricity line poles and their long-term maintenance has several legal implications. At present there exists a certain contradiction between nature protection legislation, which, among other things, protects White Storks and their nests, and rules and regulations for safe exploitation and maintenance of the electricity distribution infrastructure. The aim of this action is to facilitate the identification of the existing contradictions or legal gaps and to suggest optimal legal solutions for these issues with the help of the Legal expert.

ACTION A.5: Elaboration of White Stork species action plan for Lithuania
In order to ensure long-term targeted effective and legally binding conservation of White Storks in Lithuania, a White Stork species action plan for Lithuania will be prepared during this project. Action plan, among other things, will specify the White Stork conservation priorities in Lithuania, conservation measures, their aims and objectives, persons and institutions responsible for the implementation of these measures as well as provisional budget and methodology for the assessment of the effectiveness of the implemented management measures.

ACTION A.6: Identification of most important sites for White Storks in Lithuania
The aim of this action is to create preconditions for legal protection and implementation of concrete conservation measures, targeting White Storks, in the areas most valuable for these birds. Since White Stork is a widespread species in Lithuania, but detailed information of its distribution and abundance in the country is lacking, no Natura 2000 sites have been established for this species so far. White Stork inventory (Action A.1) will provide the lacking exact data on abundance and spatial distribution of White Storks in Lithuania. This data will be analysed in a GIS environment (Action A.2) to identify the number of White Storks breeding in the already established Natura 2000 sites. Out of these, five sites containing the highest number of breeding White Storks will be selected and White Storks will be proposed to be included into the list of target species for these sites.

ACTION C.1: Erection of nesting platforms on overhead electricity line poles in Eastern Lithuania
This action aims to ensure favourable nesting conditions for White Storks nesting on overhead electricity line poles. In order to achieve this, problematic nests will be removed from the direct contact with wires during the non-breeding season and an artificial breeding platform, manufactured from metal, will be erected on the pole in place of the removed White Stork nest.

ACTION C.3: Erection of nesting platforms on roofs of buildings
People in the countryside are usually proud to have an occupied White Stork nest on a roof of their house or other building. Platforms of various constructions are often placed on roofs to attract White Storks. Unfortunately, only a part of the nests on buildings are built on properly constructed and stable nesting platforms. Some of the nests are built directly on the roofing material. Nests that are built directly on the roof or on a poor platform are bound to cause problems for building owners. The greatest problem in this case is moisture that accumulates under the nest and in long-run causes damage to roofing material or even roof structure (roofing membranes, wooden rafters, battens, metal joints, etc.). The damage may be also caused by the poorly distributed weight of the nest itself, particularly when it grows in size and starts leaning on an unstable base. This may cause White Stork nests to become unwanted and removed from the buildings. In order to solve these problems, particularly problematic nests on building roofs (nests placed directly on the roof, built on weak or disintegrating nesting platforms or other unsuitable structures) will be identified during the White Stork nest inventory. Contact data of the owners of the property with the problematic nests will be collected during the White Stork nest inventory, and they will be approached individually with the proposition to replace the problematic nest with a specially designed wooden nesting platform (Annex III), which will provide the nest with a stable base and ensure good air circulation under the nest, thus preventing any future damage to the roof.

D. Public awareness and dissemination of results
A very important component of the project will be comprised of various public awareness and information activities:

  • ACTION D.1:  Production and distribution of project leaflets,
  • ACTION D.2:  Production and erection of project notice boards,
  • ACTION D.3:  Creation and maintenance of project website,
  • ACTION D.4: Development and maintenance of interactive on-line White Stork nest GIS-based website,
  • ACTION D.5:  Set-up of White Stork nest web-cams,
  • ACTION D.6:  Drafting, production and distribution of a book on the White Stork in Lithuania,
  • ACTION D.7: Production of a film on the White Stork in Lithuania,
  • ACTION D.8: Public awareness raising in media,
  • ACTION D.9: Public events – the White Stork Day,
  • ACTION D.10: Production of Layman’s report.