Ornis Hungarica. vol.12-13. (2003) p.95-105.
Lithuanian wetlands database: the tool for bird monitoring and conservation in Lithuanian wetlands
A countrywide inventory of important wetlands was constructed in Lithuania in 1996-1999. Over 80 wetlands (total area c130 000 ha) were investigated. The Ramsar methodology was used as the basis of the inventory's structure. Results of the inventory have revealed that more than 30 Lithuanian wetlands meet the Ramsar criteria qualifying them as of international importance. The wetlands investigated during this survey support the majority of many species of Lithuanian breeding birds, including many that are rare and endangered. Internationally important concentrations of numerous bird species have been recorded in these sites. A high priority of the program was to provide to the regional and local authorities responsible for nature management all necessary information concerning the key wetlands and their birds. Consequently, a new Lithuanian Wetlands Database (WDB) had to be created. It includes the following: 1. Data on important wetlands in each region or district. 2. Data on species and communities in each important wetland. 3. Land use and conservation recommendations at the species or community level. 4. Data visualisation (maps at several levels: from national to local and down to individual wetland). Replicates of the WDB were forwarded to the organizations responsible for conservation of wetlands in all districts/regions. The WDB permits responses to be made to all matters arising related to wetlands. It will serve as an important tool for further monitoring of bird populations in Lithuanian wetlands and for the formation of new databases of important transfrontier wetlands (those shared by several countries).