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New LIFE+ Project for the Lesser White-fronted Goose Starts with Kick-off Meeting at Lake Kerkini in Greece

Kerkini, 10 November 2011 - The new LIFE+ project for safeguarding the Fennoscandian sub-population of the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) along its European flyway was officially launched with a 2-day workshop in Kerkini, Greece on 7-8 November, organized by the lead project partner, the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) and hosted by the Kerkini National Park Management Authority.

The workshop brought together all eight project beneficiaries from Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Greece and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat as well as representatives from the Norwegian Ornithological Society and the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management to discuss project activities and implementation. The workshop was also attended by a representative from the External LIFE Monitoring Team (ASTRAL), who briefed project partners on reporting and financial duties.

Following the previous LWfG LIFE project which ended in 2009, the bulk of activities in the new project focus on the staging and wintering grounds of the Fennoscandian LWfG sub-population in Europe over a five year period. The total project budget amounts to roughly 2.280.000 €. The EU Commission is providing 73% of the funding with a substantial amount of co-funding (about 15% of the total budget) being provided by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management. The overall project manager for HOS will be Ms. Manolia Vougioukalou.

Main project goals are to reduce mortality rates related to hunting (mapping of critical habitats and campaigns against illegal hunting), to provide suitable foraging and roosting sites (diet analysis, habitat management plans), to increase knowledge and awareness (National Action Plans, communication materials, educational programmes) and to maximize international co-operation and networking (for example organizing the next meeting of the AEWA LWfG International Working Group).

The workshop was followed by a field trip to Lake Kerkini National Park, where participants were lucky to sight 69 LWfG of the 74 counted after the breeding season in Norway.

For more information please contact Ms. Nina Mikander, Coordinator for the Lesser White-fronted Goose.