It’s important to begin the management and care of the wetland immediately after it has been established or restored. You can apply for agri-environmental support for this.
The soil dumping areas of the wetland’s dykes and spoil begin to become covered with saplings immediately. Waterfowl prefer an open landscape.
The prevention of brushwood is most successful when the area is reaped annually. When planning and implementing the wetland, it’s a good idea to make sure that the areas can be managed and tended to mechanically as easily as possible. Tractor mowers do the work easily.
Just a few years of neglect will cause a large clearing job which may not get done, and then the wetland will become invaded by vegetation, and waterfowl will choose another place to stay.
Managing the wetland (for example, removing sediment from deep basins) on an open, well-tended waterside will be easier and more pleasant.
Effective hunts for small predators in the immediate surroundings of the wetland will improve the brood yield of the birds.
Monitoring the Wetland Provides Information about Its Development and Need for Management
Water birds are an excellent indicator of the wetland’s condition. If there are many nesting water birds there, the basics are usually in place.
A reduction in the number of waterfowl on the wetland may be an indicator of the following things:
- The waterfront has become covered by bushes and invaded by vegetation so that waterfowl no longer dare to land on the wetland.
- The wetland requires clearing.
- Aquatic vegetation has colonised too much space and there is too little open water to meet the requirements of water birds.
- The wetland requires cutting, dredging or a greater fluctuation of water level.
- Sediment has filled a large part of the wetland and taken living space from, for example, diving ducks.
- The deep basins of the wetland need to be emptied of sediment.
- The fish population has grown too large, and fish compete with ducks for nutrition. A rich fish population eats the invertebrates that the ducklings need, and there isn’t enough food in the wetland for nestlings. Fish also stir the sediment at the bottom and consequently weaken the water protection effect of the wetland.
- The wetland requires drying or a mass removal of fish.
- The natural food resources of the dammed wetland in a nutrient-poor area have been exhausted, with the result that the wetland’s ability to maintain the level of aquatic invertebrates, which are so important for waterfowl, has declined intensely.
- The wetland must be temporarily dried so that new land vegetation will grow there. When grass has grown over the site again, the area can be reflooded.