Optimising grassland management in the Mittelelbe biosphere reserve with special regard to meadow bird protection

  • Motivation and Aim

    Motivation and Aim

    The project areas are located in the NATURA 2000 areas 'Elbaue between Saalemündung and Magdeburg (FFH0050)', 'Elbaue Steckby-Lödderitz (FFH0054)', 'Dessau-Wörlitzer Elbauen (FFH 0067)' and 'Kühnauer Heide and Elbaue between Aken and Dessau (FFH0125)'. With the exception of the NATURA 2000 area 'Elbaue between Saalemündung and Magdeburg (FFH0050)' these are part of the European bird sanctuary 'Mittlere Elbe einschließlich Steckby-Lödderitzer Forst' (SPA0001). All areas are located in the biosphere reserve Mittelelbe. Some areas are designated as NSG (NSG0036, NSG0394). The focus of the 750 ha project areas is on floodplain meadows (6440) and lowland hay meadows (6510).
    Early (before 15 June) and late (after 15 June) mowing dates are carried out in the area. Knowledge on the impact of early and late mowing on the situation of meadow-breeding birds and on the conservation status of the Natura2000 habitat types is currently insufficient. In addition, there is no current systematic recording of breeding birds for the grassland areas, but there is a decreasing trend in the area. In order to secure the long-term protection and conservation objectives for the Natura2000 habitat types as well as meadow birds, a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of different mowing dates is planned within the project. Based on our results, we want to give recommendations for an optimisation of the grassland management in the Mittelelbe Biosphere reserve, in close cooperation with the responsible nature conservation authorities (Landesamt für Umweltschutz Sachsen-Anhalt, Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Gartenbau Sachsen-Anhalt, UNB Anhalt-Bitterfeld, UNB Dessau-Roßlau, UNB Wittenberg, UNB Jerichower Land), the Mittelelbe Biosphere Reserve and the WWF.