Reserves ecologist from the RSPB visits Oroklini Lake for a second time - May '13

To determine the exact water management works to be carried out as part of the LIFE OROKLINI project, a reserves ecologist visited Oroklini Lake from RSPB (BirdLife UK) this May. RSPB has extensive experience in managing wetlands for the protection of birds as well as in transforming them to nature reserves for the public to visit and enjoy nature. Indicatively, RSPB manages more than 140,000 hectares of land for nature conservation and half of UK’s reedbeds. This  was the second visit of the expert at Oroklini Lake since July 2012.

These visits and the collaboration with project partners play a significant role in determining the water management works for the lake, in order to protect specific important species that currently breed or have been recorded to breed at Oroklini Lake. Currently, there is no control of the lake’s water level and it depends mainly on annual rainfall. Therefore, on most summers a large part of the lake dries completely, while during a rainy winter the water level is too high because there is no adequate outlet to the sea. The extreme water level and the abrupt changes to it pose a risk to waders that nest there, such as the Spur-winged Lapwing and the Black-winged Stilt, as there is either the risk of the nests flooding after a sudden rainfall during spring or a risk of the fledglings not finding food in a dry lake in early summer.

The water management works will be carried out in autumn 2013 and these will include things like unblocking the existing outlets to the sea and reinforcing the existing dam of the lake. Other actions, such as creating low islands and reprofiling existing ditches of the lake, will help the birds that nest there. We expect that the water management of Oroklini Lake will significantly help the breeding birds of the wetland, and as such is one of the most important actions of the LIFE Oroklini project.

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