Resurgence of endangered species
The wetlands mainly attract waders, ducks and geese, but also a number of small birds, tempted by the abundance of insects and other feed. Keen ornithologists will note that several endangered species have made a comeback. Sanna’s example is the resurgent horned grebe, a species under threat that has now found suitable breeding grounds in the new wetlands.
“These shallow, fish-free wetlands appear to be a perfect match for the horned grebe. They rely on areas of water where competition for food is not too fierce and where the pike is not a threat to their young,” says Sanna.
As well as re-establishing biodiversity, the wetlands perform an important role as a natural water treatment plant, particularly on farmland. By slowing down the water flows into the lakes and sea, the wetlands act as biological water purifiers and nutrient traps, holding on to mineral nutrients and nitrogen in particuar. This helps to counter both eutrophication and dead zones.
Popular for recreation
Reinstatement of wetlands can also be said to have a social dimension, since they become popular destinations, particularly for birdwatchers, but also for other nature lovers. Although this is not the primary objective, Holmen Skog has selected a number of wetland areas where signing, birdwatching towers and other measures have been used to try to encourage visits. “Many of these areas are set in extremely beautiful surroundings. If they can provide the public with outdoor experiences and recreation, that’s a very good thing,” concludes Sanna Strömberg.
Biologist Sanna Strömberg at the reinstated wetland in Häradstorp outside Finspång. It has become a popular place for both birds and ornithologists, who have observed bird species such as the whooper swan, goldeneye, blackthroated diver, sea eagle and lapwing.