Kullerkupud niidul Foto: Ave Huugen

Today Matsalu National Park celebrates it's 20th birthday. On May 10, 2004, Matsalu Nature Reserve was given the status of a national park.

The predecessor of the national park, Matsalu Nature Reserve, was established in 1957 to protect birds and their nesting, moulting and stopover sites.

Besides birds, Matsalu National Park aims to protect landscapes characteristic of Western Estonia and the cultural heritage of the Väinameri Sea region. Matsalu National Park is characterized by open coastal areas, where man and nature have lived in balance hand in hand for centuries.

noorte grupp õues koos kokkupandud pesakastide ja Endla LKA lipuga

On 29.02, the Junior Rangers gathered for a one-day winter seminar. In the morning, we started with a discussion on how we know which animals live in the wild and in what way animals leave traces. So we went hiking. At times, there was snowless ground under our feet, and then we crossed ditches filled with water, walked in deep snow, and jumped over frozen stilts. The movement was slow and clumsy. Meanwhile, our wellies were filled with snow water, so it was necessary to use hiking skills to keep wet feet warm.

Inimesed seisavad ringis

Young people from the Nordic-Baltic section of the EUROPARC Federation's Junior Ranger programme gathered in Gauja National Park. The seminar took place 22.-25.08.2024 and was attended by young people from Latvia, Finland, Denmark and Estonia. In addition, a youth instructor from Ukraine took part. 
From Estonia - Liisi Kauber, Maria Metsla and Pärtel Mikson from Alutaguse, Lahemaa and Matsalu National Park - took part. 

Kaader merikotka filmist

The 21st Matsalu Nature Film Festival (MAFF) has ended. The best films have been announced.

This year's Matsalu National Park Special Award went to the film "The Return of the White-tailed Sea Eagle" by Jouni Hiltunen, a well-known Finnish filmmaker. 

Matsalu is the ancestral home of sea eagles. There are written records of their nesting in the Matsalu forest as early as 1887. The ringed eagle has also nested in Finland.

Vaade õhust veeväljale. Looklevad paralleelsed põõsasteread tähistavad Kasari jõge.õge

On 17 January, the water level of the Kasari river rose 228 cm above the zero level of the gauging station, flooding an extensive flood-meadow area downstream of the river. This year active snowmelt coincided with frequent showers already appearing in early January. Usually, the flood meadow is impressive during the spring snowmelt period, when high water levels persist for a few weeks.

Vaade ülevalt alla: matkajad puhkehetkel lumises Vällamäe rabalagendikul. Foto: Silver Eensaar

At the beginning of February, students and alumni of the Tartu Students' Nature Conservation Circle got together on their 25th anniversary hike of the Snow Lynx (Lumeilves). Nearly half a hundred hikers skied on the twenty highest peaks of Estonia in the Haanja nature park.

kotkapaar pesal. lumine vaade. Taga metsaviirg. Pesa on haavapuul okste vahe.

Last week, the white-tailed eagle webcam installed by Kotkaklubi (Eagle Club) went live in Matsalu national park: https://www.youtube.com/live/9r0luregAMY?feature=share

It is one of the oldest known breeding territories of white-tailed eagles in Estonia (the first reports date back to 1870). It is a very suitable habitat for white-tailed eagles, with another pair nesting less than a kilometre away. A total of 30 eaglets have taken flight from this nest between 1996 and 2020.

metsas rähne kuulatamas

Last weekend the Junior Rangers of Alutaguse came together in Iisaku. The seminar focused on the owl and woodpecker species of Estonia which were introduced by Tarmo Evestus. Among other things we learned how owls locate their prey and how they fly without making a sound. Also how a drumming woodpecker manages to avoid headaches. We then tested our newly gained knowledge in a game of Jeopardy.

Sertifikaadi saanud ettevõtjad 02.02.2023

On World Wetlands Day, February 2nd, the Environmental Board awarded ten Estonian nature tourism businesses from the regions of Matsalu, Soomaa and Lahemaa national parks with international sustainable tourism recognition - European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST Part II) certificate. This certificate enables local businesses working in partnership with the protected area authority to recieve recognition as sustainable partners.