Latvia is the great empire of the lesser spotted eagle: one-fifth of the world's population resides here. Therefore, it is important to ensure the proper management of meadows, pastures, arable land and forests, so that these areas do not decrease. At the moment, when the intensification of forest management and agriculture is observed, in a new video material the Latvian Fund for Nature reminds how it is possible to manage the land while conserving nature, including providing favourable living conditions for the lesser spotted eagle.
Why protect the lesser spotted eagle? What is its daily life in grasslands and trees? How to manage meadows, forests and fields? Why is it necessary and how is the micro-reserve instrument implemented? Answers to these and other questions can be found in the informative film “Lesser Spotted Eagle-Friendly Land Management” made by film director Māris Maskalāns, journalist Sandra Kropa, as well as several other experts, such as ornithologist Jānis Ķuze, grassland habitat expert Maija Medne, eagle researcher and JSC Latvia's State Forests senior environmental specialist Uģis Bergmanis. The prepared material also includes the experience stories of the owners of various nature territories – comments are provided by Ivars Silkāns, the manager of the farm ‘Tīravoti’, Aigars Oļukalns, the land manager of Kuja Nature Park, and others. The film was made within the framework of the EU LIFE program project ‘Ensuring the Protection of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Latvia’, which aims to improve the conservation status of the lesser spotted eagle in Latvia, focusing on the protection of nesting sites and management of feeding sites of the species.
‘Latvia's meadows cannot exist without human presence, they must be managed. If we stop managing the meadow, it will overgrow with bushes because Latvia is located in a forest area, and any open area that is not mowed will overgrow with trees and bushes. The main task is to mow hay during summer,’ Maija Medne gives advice on the management of grasslands, which are also the lesser spotted eagle's favourite hunting place. Uģis Bergmanis explains why sustainable landscaping is important for birds: ‘The richer the structure of the hunting area of the eagle, the smaller area is necessary. And the smaller the area where an eagle can feed, the more eagles can live relatively close together.’ The Latvian Fund for Nature invites every nature lover, rural residents and land managers to get acquainted with this material in order to learn more not only about the importance of the lesser spotted eagle in Latvia, but also about the need for micro-reserves and nature-friendly, economically advantageous meadows and forests.