Projects

Agreements with state institutions

Services for determination of dynamics in abundance and distribution of different marine wintering bird species in 2020/2021 and assessment of results obtained

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Party to agreement: Environmental Protection Agency

Terms of the project: 2021-2022

Post Doc

Exo-erythrocytic development of haemosporidian parasites in birds of prey

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Postdoc researcher: dr. Mikas Ilgūnas

Postdoc duration: 2020–2022

Project no.: 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0081

Avian haemosporidian parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) are of worldwide distribution and about 200 species have been described. Until recently, these pathogens were considered to be rather benign to the vertebrate hosts. However, studies published within the last 10 years have shown that haemosporidian parasites can cause severe damage to the infected birds due to development of exo-erythrocytic stages in the hosts’ internal organs. Although the virulence and pathogenicity are undeniable, knowledge on the developmental patterns of these stages remain lacking. This calls for research aimed at better understanding the life cycles, biology and ecology of avian haemosporidians. While preparing his PhD thesis, the postdoctoral fellow has mastered the techniques required to investigate the exo-erythrocytic development of haemosporidian parasites, however he gained little knowledge about bird biology which is crucial to fully understand the patterns of parasite-host interaction in the wild. The main aim of this project is to investigate the exo-erythrocytic development of haemosporidian parasites in naturally infected birds of prey, which remain non-investigated from this respect. Ornithologists of Nature Research Centre have experience in research of biology of birds of prey and are in collaboration with the Kaunas Tadas Ivanauskas Museum of Zoology, which can provide samples of deceased bird tissues. The proposed postdoctoral project is a multidisciplinary study which will contribute to better understanding of parasite life cycles and their effect on infected birds of prey. Histological methods, polymerase chain reaction-based diagnostic tools, light microscopy and fieldwork will be combined. The results obtained will uncover knowledge on the scarcely understood part of the life cycle of haemosporidian parasites as well as allow the postdoctoral fellow to broaden his understanding of avian biology which will greatly benefit him in his future work.

Lithuanian-Norwegian Projects

Sustainable development of wind power in western Lithuania

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Project duration:  2014–2016

More information about the Projec

 

 

Project partners: Nature Research Centre (the Leading Party, Vilnius, Lithuania), The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Centre of Sustainable Development (Vilnius, Lithuania), The Lithuanian Wind Power Association.

PURPOSE OF THE ROJECT – identification of conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense of biodiversity protection and preparation of conflict management recommendations.

Photo by Mindaugas Kirstukas

TASKS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Identify conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense biodiversity protection:
  • Analyse primary information sources and establish criteria for identification of conflict zones. All areas that are important in view of protection of target animal groups as well as areas suitable for the development of wind power plants will be identified in western Lithuania. Identification of areas will be performed according to the criteria agreed with interested persons. All criteria will be described in a standardised form.
  • Perform analysis of significance of criteria. Analysis of significance of selected criteria agreed with interested persons will be performed. Researchers will assess to what extent the selected criteria are significant to conflict intensity. Assessment of criteria significance will be discussed with interested persons and described in a standardised form.
  • Build a spatial database for identification of conflict zones. A digital spatial database will be built with as many layers as many criteria will be identified. Different information sources will be used to achieve the purpose: special and detailed plans, data of cadastres and registries, as well as other digital and non-digital information. During this activity, non-digital information will be digitised. A spatial information analysis model will be created.
  • Based on results of the performed analysis create a model for identification of particular conflict zones and intensity of conflict in them. A model for automated analysis of spatial information for the purpose of visualization of conflict zones in a particular territory (e.g. municipality, county) and calculation of the total area of such zones in a territory and intensity of conflict in them will be created. After finalization of the project the model might be further used for assessment of conflict intensities outside western Lithuania.
  • Perform verification of the created model based on in situ data. In the territories selected according to the established criteria, the monitoring of target animals with be performed with a view to collecting information necessary for verification of the created model. The verification of the model for analysis of spatial information will ensure that assessment carried out with the help of the model reflects the real situation. The results of the assessment and the possibilities of the use of the model in estimating conflict intensity will be delivered in two seminars for local environmental organizations and community members.
  • Prepare recommendations for management of conflicts between the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity:
  • Prepare recommendations how to solve conflicts between the development of wind power plants and conservation of biodiversity. Recommendations how to ensure the lowest possible effects of the development of wind power plants on the target animal groups and. accordingly, to ensure the goals of biodiversity protection will be prepared. A newsletter to describe the possibilities of the use of the model in identifying conflict zones and measuring intensity of conflicts and to present recommendations drafted during the project will be prepared.

APPLICANT – state scientific research institute Nature Research Centre

PARTNERS

The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Norsk institutt for naturforskning, NINA) is Norway's leading institution for nature research. Among the projects the institute has implemented, there were many devoted to analysis of sustainable development of infrastructures of separate sectors in view of nature protection, including analysis of the development of wind power plants. When running GP Wind, OPTIPOL projects, NINA's specialists have prepared conflict analysis methods that might be applied to our project. In our project, NINA's specialists will basically contribute to the creation of a spatial data analysis model (tool), which will allow analysing spatial information layers prepared according to selected criteria. NRC's researchers will apply the experience of NINA in establishing assessment criteria and drafting recommendations on mitigation of the impact of wind power plants on biological diversity.

Centre for Sustainable Development (Darnaus vystymosi centras, DVC). DVC's specialists have a long-time project and administrative work experience; therefore, in this project DVC's key functions are to arrange intermediate and final discussions with interested persons and organise seminars, ensure interactions between project partners, and organise the outsourcing of necessary expert services. DVC's specialists who have experience in bat observations will perform analysis of impacts of wind power plants on bats, establish criteria, and perform field works necessary for validation of the created model.

Lithuanian Wind Power Plant Association (Lietuvos vėjo elektrinių asociacija, LVEA). LVEA, which is currently participated by ca. 90 per cent of investors into Lithuanian wind power plants, will ensure that needs and purposes of the development of wind power plants are fully incorporated into the analysis system. Thus, it will be achieved that the created model will not be solely eco-centered and will identify in an optimal way the existing and future conflicts between biodiversity protection and wind power development. LVEA will be responsible for establishment of criteria and their significance in the context of wind power development and for assistance to NRC's researchers in preparing recommendations   .

ABOUT THE PROJECT

According to the Law on Renewable Energy Resources, the total capacity of WPPs connected to the networks should reach 500 MW by the year 2020 (Official Gazette 2011, No 62-2936; 2013, No 12-560). At the time being, the installed capacity is above 280 MW, and licences are issued for other 210 MW. Most of them are in the western part of Lithuania. The limit of 500 MW is expected to be reached in 2016 already. Despite their attractiveness due to low CO2 emissions, WPPs have a direct negative impact on biodiversity. Three types of direct impact can be distinguished: direct displacement (when WPPs are installed in wintering or resting sites of birds), direct collision (when migrating or soaring birds are killed or injured by turbine blades), and decompression (when rotating blades cause air pressure changes which lead to the burst of blood vessels in the lungs of animals, in particular bats). The density of WPPs in Lithuania is likely to keep growing after 2020 too. Thus, intensity of conflicts between wind power plants and biodiversity is predicted to increase, especially in western Lithuania which is an important area for migration of birds and bats. Identification of potential conflict zones in the context of the development of WPPs and protection of biodiversity and preparation of recommendations to minimise conflict intensity are important steps towards management of existing and avoidance of future conflicts. A tool (model) created in the course of the project and based on analysis of spatial data will allow visualisation and mapping of conflict intensity. To balance environmental protection and WPP development objectives, the selected criteria will be transformed into the degree of acceptance measured on a continuous scale from 0 to 1. This process is based on the principles of fuzzy logic theory and is used to solve conflict management problems in many countries. The model will allow automated visualization of conflict zones in western Lithuania and assessment of conflict intensity according to the agreed criteria. The tool could be applied after the end of the project. The updated information layers will facilitate identification of potential conflict zones, their total area in a particular territory, and conflict intensity. Alteration of criteria and their significance will allow us to see how the area of potential conflict zones and conflict intensity change. The model could be applied for identification of potential conflict zones all over Lithuania, and recommendations prepared for western Lithuania could be used in considerably wider spatial contexts. The outcome of the project will assist spatial planning specialists, developers, environmental impacts assessors in choosing the most sustainable solutions for the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity. This will ensure a more effective biodiversity protection, lower time and financial costs, and simpler environmental impact assessment process.

 

 

 

International scientific projects

Sustainable Development of Wind Power in West Lithuania (DAVEP-VLIT)

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Terms of the Project: 2014–2016

More information about the Project

Baltarusijos, Rusijos ir Lietuvos Nemuno baseino užliejamų pievų biologinės įvairovės apsauga (OMPO-10). 2009 – 2011 m.

Projects leader: dr. Saulius Švažas

Užsakovas: Migratory Birds of the Western Palearctic, Prancūzija

DAVEP-VLIT

Sustainable Development of Wind Power in West Lithuania (DAVEP-VLIT)

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

 

Project partners: Nature Research Centre (the Leading Party, Vilnius, Lithuania), The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Centre of Sustainable Development (Vilnius, Lithuania), The Lithuanian Wind Power Association.

PURPOSE OF THE ROJECT – identification of conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense of biodiversity protection and preparation of conflict management recommendations.

Photo by Mindaugas Kirstukas

TASKS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Identify conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense biodiversity protection:
  • Analyse primary information sources and establish criteria for identification of conflict zones. All areas that are important in view of protection of target animal groups as well as areas suitable for the development of wind power plants will be identified in western Lithuania. Identification of areas will be performed according to the criteria agreed with interested persons. All criteria will be described in a standardised form.
  • Perform analysis of significance of criteria. Analysis of significance of selected criteria agreed with interested persons will be performed. Researchers will assess to what extent the selected criteria are significant to conflict intensity. Assessment of criteria significance will be discussed with interested persons and described in a standardised form.
  • Build a spatial database for identification of conflict zones. A digital spatial database will be built with as many layers as many criteria will be identified. Different information sources will be used to achieve the purpose: special and detailed plans, data of cadastres and registries, as well as other digital and non-digital information. During this activity, non-digital information will be digitised. A spatial information analysis model will be created.
  • Based on results of the performed analysis create a model for identification of particular conflict zones and intensity of conflict in them. A model for automated analysis of spatial information for the purpose of visualization of conflict zones in a particular territory (e.g. municipality, county) and calculation of the total area of such zones in a territory and intensity of conflict in them will be created. After finalization of the project the model might be further used for assessment of conflict intensities outside western Lithuania.
  • Perform verification of the created model based on in situ data. In the territories selected according to the established criteria, the monitoring of target animals with be performed with a view to collecting information necessary for verification of the created model. The verification of the model for analysis of spatial information will ensure that assessment carried out with the help of the model reflects the real situation. The results of the assessment and the possibilities of the use of the model in estimating conflict intensity will be delivered in two seminars for local environmental organizations and community members.
  • Prepare recommendations for management of conflicts between the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity:
  • Prepare recommendations how to solve conflicts between the development of wind power plants and conservation of biodiversity. Recommendations how to ensure the lowest possible effects of the development of wind power plants on the target animal groups and. accordingly, to ensure the goals of biodiversity protection will be prepared. A newsletter to describe the possibilities of the use of the model in identifying conflict zones and measuring intensity of conflicts and to present recommendations drafted during the project will be prepared.

APPLICANT – state scientific research institute Nature Research Centre

PARTNERS

The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Norsk institutt for naturforskning, NINA) is Norway's leading institution for nature research. Among the projects the institute has implemented, there were many devoted to analysis of sustainable development of infrastructures of separate sectors in view of nature protection, including analysis of the development of wind power plants. When running GP Wind, OPTIPOL projects, NINA's specialists have prepared conflict analysis methods that might be applied to our project. In our project, NINA's specialists will basically contribute to the creation of a spatial data analysis model (tool), which will allow analysing spatial information layers prepared according to selected criteria. NRC's researchers will apply the experience of NINA in establishing assessment criteria and drafting recommendations on mitigation of the impact of wind power plants on biological diversity.

Centre for Sustainable Development (Darnaus vystymosi centras, DVC). DVC's specialists have a long-time project and administrative work experience; therefore, in this project DVC's key functions are to arrange intermediate and final discussions with interested persons and organise seminars, ensure interactions between project partners, and organise the outsourcing of necessary expert services. DVC's specialists who have experience in bat observations will perform analysis of impacts of wind power plants on bats, establish criteria, and perform field works necessary for validation of the created model.

Lithuanian Wind Power Plant Association (Lietuvos vėjo elektrinių asociacija, LVEA). LVEA, which is currently participated by ca. 90 per cent of investors into Lithuanian wind power plants, will ensure that needs and purposes of the development of wind power plants are fully incorporated into the analysis system. Thus, it will be achieved that the created model will not be solely eco-centered and will identify in an optimal way the existing and future conflicts between biodiversity protection and wind power development. LVEA will be responsible for establishment of criteria and their significance in the context of wind power development and for assistance to NRC's researchers in preparing recommendations   .

ABOUT THE PROJECT

According to the Law on Renewable Energy Resources, the total capacity of WPPs connected to the networks should reach 500 MW by the year 2020 (Official Gazette 2011, No 62-2936; 2013, No 12-560). At the time being, the installed capacity is above 280 MW, and licences are issued for other 210 MW. Most of them are in the western part of Lithuania. The limit of 500 MW is expected to be reached in 2016 already. Despite their attractiveness due to low CO2 emissions, WPPs have a direct negative impact on biodiversity. Three types of direct impact can be distinguished: direct displacement (when WPPs are installed in wintering or resting sites of birds), direct collision (when migrating or soaring birds are killed or injured by turbine blades), and decompression (when rotating blades cause air pressure changes which lead to the burst of blood vessels in the lungs of animals, in particular bats). The density of WPPs in Lithuania is likely to keep growing after 2020 too. Thus, intensity of conflicts between wind power plants and biodiversity is predicted to increase, especially in western Lithuania which is an important area for migration of birds and bats. Identification of potential conflict zones in the context of the development of WPPs and protection of biodiversity and preparation of recommendations to minimise conflict intensity are important steps towards management of existing and avoidance of future conflicts. A tool (model) created in the course of the project and based on analysis of spatial data will allow visualisation and mapping of conflict intensity. To balance environmental protection and WPP development objectives, the selected criteria will be transformed into the degree of acceptance measured on a continuous scale from 0 to 1. This process is based on the principles of fuzzy logic theory and is used to solve conflict management problems in many countries. The model will allow automated visualization of conflict zones in western Lithuania and assessment of conflict intensity according to the agreed criteria. The tool could be applied after the end of the project. The updated information layers will facilitate identification of potential conflict zones, their total area in a particular territory, and conflict intensity. Alteration of criteria and their significance will allow us to see how the area of potential conflict zones and conflict intensity change. The model could be applied for identification of potential conflict zones all over Lithuania, and recommendations prepared for western Lithuania could be used in considerably wider spatial contexts. The outcome of the project will assist spatial planning specialists, developers, environmental impacts assessors in choosing the most sustainable solutions for the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity. This will ensure a more effective biodiversity protection, lower time and financial costs, and simpler environmental impact assessment process.

 

 

Other projects

Conservation of biodiversity intransboundary floodplains in the Nemunas River basin, shared by Belarus, Russia and Lithuania (OMPO-10)

Projects leader: dr. Saulius Švažas

Terms of the project: 2013

Projects supported by the EU

Baltojo gandro (Ciconia ciconia) apsauga Lietuvoje

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Projekto kodas: LIFE07 NAT/LT/000531
Užsakovas: Lietuvos ornitologų draugija

Daugiau informacijos apie projektą

LIFE

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) conservation in Lithuania (LIFE531)

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Project duration: 2009–2012

Inventory of marine species and habitats for development of Natura 2000 network in the offshore waters of Lithuania (LIFE234)

Projects leader: dr. Linas Ložys , dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Project duration: 2010–2015

 

Orders by economic entities

Lietuvos Baltijos jūros aplinkos apsaugos valdymo stiprinimo dokumentų parengimas (Baltija). 2011-2012 m.

Projects leader: dr. Linas Ložys , dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Užsakovas: Klaipėdos universiteto Baltijos pajūrio aplinkos tyrimų ir planavimo institutas

Susitarimas Nr. 1 dėl 2009 m. Liepos 7 d. Jungtinės veiklos (partnerystės) sutarties Nr. LOD/09/07/07-1 pakeitimo bei papildymo

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Užsakovas: Lietuvos ornitologų draugija
Atlikimo terminai: 2012.06.29 – 2013.03.31

Lietuvos žuvininkystės sektoriaus 2007-2013 metų veiksmų programos įgyvendinimo paslauga „Paukščių daromo poveikio akvakultūros įmonėms vertinimas“

Projects leader: dr. Vitas Stanevičius

Užsakovas: 19 akvakultūrinių ūkių
Atlikimo terminai: 2011.10.30 – 2013.10.31

Laboratories