A joint expedition took place in Labanoras Regional Park on 22-23 of September in order to inventory natural habitats and habitats of animals and plants of European importance as well as to evaluate their condition. Experts of Methodical analytical center of State Service of Protected Areas (SSPA) together with “Naturalit” project team from EPMA and Biodiversity Department of SSPA took part in this expedition.
“Labanoras Regional Park is among the biggest areas in Lithuania which is in conformity with the criteria of territories important for the protection of natural habitats. Therefore, inventory of such area is a large-scale work, because you need to determine where specific species are found and what is their condition”, – explains Dalius Dapkus, director of Methodical analytical center of SSPA. – Experts of our Center have already spent there many days and nights, but the end of works is not seen yet. Thus, this joint expedition is a very significant help seeking to evaluate existing natural values and to set goals of protection to them.”
Some of participants were discerning condition of natural habitats, others searching for protected species of animals and plants. Since there are plenty of mushrooms in forests this autumn, Oxyporus mannerheimii was found in several new places in Labanoras forest.
Oxyporus mannerheimii is a small beetle (the size of 7-9 mm), rare in all Europe. Most often found in wormy cep, orange-cap bolete and brown-cap bolete. It digs the paths inside the mushroom to hunt the larvae. “Oxyporus mannerheimii is very sensitive species for the conditions of environment. It is very dependent on mushrooms where it is found. As for mushrooms bond with trees, quantity of warmth and humidity is of great importance. Such delicate needs of Oxyporus mannerheimii are in conformity with the needs of other specific species. That’s why Oxyporus mannerheimii was chosen as indicatory species and protected areas are being extablished in all European Union to protect its habitats, – explains Giedrius Svitra, entomologist of Methodical analytical center of SSPA. – It means that we are going to protect at least several dozen other species while protecting habitats of Oxyporus mannerheimii.”
There were also found more than twenty larvae of Boros schneideri under the bark of pine trees. Giedrius Svitra was happy to find Dytiscus latissimus in two lakes and Graphoderus bilineatus – in one lake of Labanoras Regional Park. That is new places of those beetles of European importance detected by conservationists.
“I was happy being able not only to know the work of conservationists better, but also to contribute with the investigation of natural values in Labanoras forest”, – tells the leader of “Naturalit” project group Birute Valatkiene. – It is the first important step seeking to provide stronger juridical protection for this special natural area and for the species living there. Those works will also help to implement the main goal of LIFE integrated project – to ensure full protection of Natura 2000 network, the most valuable natural areas in EU, in Lithuania.”