Ambassador profile


Thomas Johansson
Dan Nilsson
  Function: Nature conservation manager
  Country: Sweden
  E-mail: thomas.johansson(at)e.lst(dot)se
  Tel: +46 13196 000

Organisation profile


  Organisation: Provincial Government of Östergötland, Department of natural resources
  E-mail: nature(at)e.lst(dot)se
  Tel: +46 13196 000
  Established: 1945-1970
  Category: Governmental 0rganisation
  Number of staff: 30
Site profile
  Site name: Tåkern  
  Location: Östergötland  
  Land area: 5,398 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Linköping, Norrköping, Mjölby, Ödeshög, Motala, Vadstena  
  Natura 2000 ID: SE 0230067  
  Annual visitor count: > 5,000 per year  
  Majority of visitors from: South of Sweden, mostly Östergötlands County  
  Site description:

Nowadays Tåkern is regarded as the foremost bird lake in Northern Europe. Its surroundings are also endowed with a beautiful flora rich in orchids. There are four visitors' areas round the lake with paths and bird watching towers. The lake was formed when it became cut off from the salty Yoldia Sea about 10,000 years ago. During the nineteenth century the water levels of many lakes were lowered to gain more agricultural land and the level of Lake Tåkern was dropped by 1.7 m in 1842-4. Since the average depth became 0.8 m the reed beds began to spread out, the water meadows became well established and the lake began to attract birds. Consequently its epoch as a bird lake is no more than 150 years old. Now the whole reserve comprises 5400 hectares, mostly in private ownership with some parts owned by the State. Lake Tåkern is one of the most important nesting and feeding places for many species of birds in Northern Europe. During recent years a total of 270 species of birds have been seen at the lake and over a hundred nest here: e.g., Black Tern, Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Great Reed Warbler. At an equivalent of about 2,400 football pitches, the total area of the reed beds by the lake is the largest in Europe. The water meadows at Lake Tåkern have been created by years of grazing and haymaking and extend to a total of 450 hectares. As these meadows are rich in lime they have a very diversified flora. Birdseye Primroses and orchids such as the Fly, Early Marsh and Musk Orchids flourish here. In order to preserve their biodiversity and to prevent overgrowth, it important to keep the meadows constantly grazed and mowed. Great efforts are necessary to maintain the man-made environment at Tåkern. The management is financed by Tåkernfonden WWF.


Priority species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
    Dytiscus latissimus Bred gulbrämad dykare
    Leucorrhinia pectoralis Citronfläckad kärrtrollslända
    Vertigo geyeri Kalkkärrsgrynsnäcka
    Vertigo angustior Smalgrynsnäcka
    Triturus cristatus Större vattensalamander
    Pernis apivorus Bivråk
    Circus cyaneus Blå kärrhök
    Luscinia svecica Blåhake
    Circus aeruginosus Brun kärrhök
    Philomachus pugnax Brushane
    Philomachus pugnax Gallinago media Dubbelbeckasin
    Pandion haliaetus Fiskgjuse
    Sterna hirundo Fisktärna
    Anser erythropus Fjällgås
    Tringa glareola Grönbena
    Haliaeetus albicilla Havsörn
    Asio flammeus Jorduggla
    Aquila chrysaetos Kungsörn
    Pluvialis apricaria Ljungpipare
    Limosa lapponica Myrspov
    Falco peregrinus Pilgrimsfalk
    Botaurus stellaris Rördrom
    Mergus albellus Salskrake
    Sterna caspia Skräntärna
    Phalaropus lobatus Smalnäbbad simsnäppa
    Porzana porzana Småfläckig sumphöna
    Falco columbarius Stenfalk
    Gavia arctica Storlom
    Podiceps auritus Svarthakedopping
    Chlidonias niger Svarttärna
    Cygnus cygnus Sångsvan
    Grus grus Trana
    Lanius collurio Törnskata
    Branta leucopsis Vitkindad gås
    Circus pygargus Ängshök
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  3150 (dominates) Naturligt eutrofa sjöar med nate eller dybladsvegetation
  6210 Kalkgräsmarker (*viktiga orkidélokaler)
  6270 * Artrika torra-friska låglandsgräsmarker av fennoskandisk typ
  6410 Fuktängar med blåtåtel eller starr
  7230 Rikkärr
  9070 Trädklädda betesmarker av fennoskandisk typ
  91E0 * Alluviala lövskogar, som tidvis är översvämmade
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←        → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private individuals        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success story

Several restorations with renewal of meadows and grazing with cattle

Photo credit: Kurt Adolfsson and Lars Gezelius
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Guided visits


  Event frequency
At least once per week


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Description of communication strategy
SEPA – Swedish Environmental Protection Agency have a handbook of Natura 2000 (only in Swedish) with the title “Natura 2000 I Sverige – hanbok med allmäna råd” ISBN 91-620-0131-0 ISSN 1650-2361. It is avalaible on
A new management-plan of the site is on production and will be communicated with stakeholders and farmers around the site.


  The communication materials are produced
At central office


  Site involved in joint working / networking


  Details of joint working / networking activity
Tåkernfonden WWF – a foundation that support management action of the site.The foundation gives money every year.


Site management profile
"Restoration of a meadow"
  Key site management issues:


  • Yearly haycutting/meadow-triming
  • Grazing


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


Same targets with the management of the nature reserve as the Natura 2000-site (same


  Key site management objectives:


Keeping the meadows grazed and cut to serve as good habitats for birds (nesting as well as migrating) and plants connected to lime-rich meadows, orchids etc.


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


Without the stakeholders there is no grazing and most of the cutting with machines had to be ordered from other entrepreneurs.


  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


Restoration of meadows and reed beds with machines


  Results of action and activities:


More nesting/migrating birds and a lot of plants increasing in numbers on the meadows.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


About Euros 25,000 per year


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


Approx. Euro 2,5 million for management and approx. Euro 3-4 million for conservation.


  European funding:


LIFE-ROSORIS including Tåkern!
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF including INTERREG) BIRD


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Tåkern: SE