• JFTP::write: Bad response
  • JFTP::write: Bad response

Conservation and Restoration


The restoration and preservation of specific habitat types and species of Community importance in the Natura 2000 area in the pond area in Midden Limburg, Belgium. The project targets more specifically the following species and habitat types:


  • Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) (A021)
  • Tree frog (Hyla arborea) (1203)


  • Oligotrophic waters of the type 3110
  • Oligo-to mesotrophic standing waters of the type 3130
  • Wet heath lands of the type 4010
  • Dry heath lands of the type 4030
  • Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of the type 6430

Actions and tools involved:

For the ecological restoration and conservation of the target habitats and specie the following actions will be carried out for:

Botaurus stellaris: restoring the hydrological regime preceded by an eco-hydrological study, restoring a more open landscape by removing scrub and trees on the pond dikes, restoration of large mesotrophic ponds (see habitat type 3130), extension and improvement of the reed beds and fish availability, creation of predator free breeding opportunities. Some areas, vulnerable to disturbance, will be closed for the public. Additional foraging areas will be created.

Hyla arborea: restoration of aquatic habitats consisting of shallow, sunny and fish free ponds and restoration of land habitat (see habitat type 6430) for foraging and hibernation.

Habitat Type 3110 : morphological and restoration of the pond and dikes, removal of scrub and trees (shade, nutritients) and organic layer, restoration of the hydrological regime.

Habitat type 4010 : removal of scrub and trees, removal of organic layer, sod cutting, restoration of hydrological regime.

Habitat type 4030 : removal of scrub and trees, removal of organic layer, sod cutting.

Expected results:

In general, we expect that the overall conservation status of all targeted habitats and species in the area will improve. More specifically, the results expected from the restoration actions are following:  

Botaurus stellaris: to keep the current 4 to 5 breeding pairs in the area and retain additional

Breeding opportunities for additional 4 to 5 couples on public property and 5 on private property. This means a total of 13 to 15 breeding couples and an increase of the Flemish population by 35%. This, we expect to achieve through:

  • the restoration of a more open landscape (removal of bush and trees on about 9.5 km of dikes, opening of 64 ponds of a total of 158.3 hectares)
  • the restoration of about 12.6 ha mesotrophic ponds (habitat type 3130) and the improvement of an additional 141.2 hectares of mesotrophic ponds
  • The improvement and extension of reed beds (> 20 ha)
  • Reduction of the predation by fox and marten via reed islands (13.4 ha)
  • The restoration of sufficient and appropriate fish availability (on 110 ha ponds) by the improvement of 0.9 hectares suitable foraging habitats.


Hyla arborea: to expand the current population of 150 up to 500 - 1000 calling males. This will be achieved through the restoration of an additional 7.3 ha of aquatic reproduction habitat and the improvement of 4hectares and the restoration of about 27 hectares of foraging land habitat of type 6430.

Furthermore, we expect to restore five acres of habitat type 3110, to restore 8.42 hectares of habitat type 4010 and to restore 8.67 hectares and improve and additional 22, 75 hectares of habitat type 4030.

More than 50% of all these restoration measures will take place on private land.


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