Indispensable associated scientific studies

Electrofishing provides information about the fishes in the streams of the National Park Eifel

Electrofishing provides information about the fishes in the streams of the National Park Eifel © Carsten Burk

Monitoring: Scientific investigations accompany the project

The measures implemented within the project  will open the way to wilderness for both woodland and water habitats. Once the initial management work is completed, natural processes will take over so that a wild landscape develops unimpeded over the widest possible area in the coming years. Thus more suitable living conditions will develop for many plants and animals. In the forest and water habitats rare species should be preserved and should proliferate; new species may immigrate to these wild habitats. Precise documentation is necessary to record which animal and plant species occur and in which numbers and distributions. It is not possible to register all plant and animal species so selected species groups and selected areas will be monitored.

Monitoring includes

  • plant composition (vegetation)
  • fishes and lampreys (Cyclostomata)
  • invertebrates on and in the riverbeds visible to the naked eye (Makrozoobenthos)
  • amphibians
  • water-borne sediments

 

Preliminary investigations are carried out before conservation work

Before first measures are implemented, research will be undertaken on selected species groups on which information is lacking.

Those are

  • bats
  • cray fish
  • mussels (larger species)

It is known that 16 of the 17 bat species that are native to the federal state of Northrhine-Westphalia occur in the areas of the National Park Eifel. But many questions are still not answered. How many are there of each species? Where exactly do they dwell and how much space do they need? To assess the measures necessary to meet the habitat needs of these bat species, investigations took place in 2011 and 2012.

The situation for the mussels and the crayfish is somewhat different. It is only known that these species formerly occurred in the streams of the Eifel. Whether single individuals survive in the waters of the project area is unknown, as systematic investigations are lacking. Research on this is now (2013) taking place; a discovery of the very rare Freshwater Pearl Mussel would be a sensation!