Improving endangered lichen habitat

Another project on an Estonian island? Sign me up!

The Rumpo peninsula is the habitat of unique and rare lichen communities and the only habitat of the curled snow lichen (Flavocetraria cucullata) in Estonia.


Last year I went to a different project which took place on an Estonian islet called – Manija. It’s still one of my favourite places on earth. We had to improve the habitat for endangered toad species. Read more in detail and check out pictures – here.

The ship cruise to the Manija islet took only 15 minutes, but this time it wasn’t so much of an islet than a real island and it took us around 45 minutes to get there from the mainland. Read more about the island – here.

Vormsi island in the map (Source)


Similarly as last year, also this time the project was an Estonian, Latvian and Finn collaboration and a talgud concept (communal work/ Latvian – talka). One of the Latvian participants cancelled and we couldn’t find another person at the last moment so I was the only Latvian there.

The Rumpo peninsula with its junipers of different density and age is the habitat of unique and rare lichen communities and the only habitat of the curled snow lichen (Flavocetraria cucullata) in Estonia. The lichen patches are fragile and vulnerable to trampling. Cows, sheep and horses are grazed on the peninsula in controlled areas.

The Rumpo peninsula is an Alvar grassland which means – Alvar grasslands are semi-natural grasslands with thin lime-rich soil on a limestone bedrock. Alvar habitats have developed through the combined influence of human activity and animal husbandry. The best management for Alvar is grazing. As mentioned before, considering the lichen, only talgud (communal work or talka in Latvian) is allowed.

(Thanks to Triin Libe for the detailed info)
This is the healthy region where the lichen is already growing (Photo: Marili Sell)

And now to the area which needs improvements (photos below):

Photos above: Vallo Tonuvere

Photos above: were taken by me

Curled snow lichen (Flavocetraria cucullata) (Photo by me)
Helping hands (Photo: Marili Sell)
How do you like my fashionable autumn coat? P.S. Don’t tell anyone that it’s a casual raincoat. (Photo: Marili Sell)

Besides the work

We slept in a guest house which has a built-in sauna. That’s one of the Estonian things. Not that Latvians don’t have saunas but I must say – not as much. We slept in the attic.

When I’m out visiting and even more so when being abroad, the food usually makes some difficulties for me. But this time I was surprised how everything was so good and tasty.

In the evenings we played card games without the slightest care in the world. At least, I felt that way. Also, we compared our languages. Estonians and Finns have much more in common but some words sounded similarly in all three languages – Estonian, Finnish and Latvian. Some words which matched wasn’t logical at all. It means completely something else in Finnish. Humans are social beings and when I learn something about other cultures and I speak to the people directly – it just feels right, it was meant to be so all along. I’m in the right place.

Playing card games (Photo: Vallo Tonuvere)

I’m the happiest when I do something good for nature, animals, other people. I have a lot to offer to the world and hopefully, I will find methods to fulfil my ambitions.

More Photos



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