The goal: to preserve habitats, animals and plants of the region

It is the goal to open the way to wilderness for the three NATURA 2000 areas (sites of community importance). The project areas belong to a European wide net of protected areas, the NATURA 2000 sites, and are located almost entirely in the National Park Eifel. In these habitats, characterized by woodlands and waters, all those anthropogenic changes shall be reversed, which impede the dynamical natural developments. In the long-term a wilderness will develop and rare habitats, animal and plant species will be conserved.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra

Black Stork Ciconia nigra © Hans Glader

64 hectares of near-natural forest habitats:

Many species like Wildcat and Black Stork require large, undisturbed habitats to re-establish themselves in an area. The woodlands will comprise native species to offer other wildlife ample opportunities for retreat.

This larva of the stonefly Dinocras cephalotes lives in the submountainous streams before it emerges as a flying insect

This larva of the stonefly Dinocras cephalotes lives in the submountainous streams before it emerges as a flying insect © Brigitta Eiseler

60 km of “barrier-free” streams including near-natural flood meadows

Species living in streams like trout and stoneflies, or near streams like the beaver, will be able to occupy the entire lengths of the submountainous streams as their natural habitats. A natural flora in and around the streams as well as a natural riverbed is important for these animal species.

This is how the streams in the project area will look in the future ...

Purple-edged Copper Lycaena hippothoe

Purple-edged Copper Lycaena hippothoe © Daniel Lück

Five hectares of open land habitats:

Open land habitats like Nardus grasslands, mountain hay meadows and tall herb fringe communities will develop in small areas. Open land is not natural in the project areas, it was created by farming. Agriculture, as it had been practiced until the middle of the last century, offered a place for many plant and animal species. A colourful flowerage attracts many butterfly species. The Purple-edged Copper occurs on wet meadows and is endangered in Germany.

The Stone Crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium

The Stone Crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium is protected in Germany © Dr. Harald Groß

Establishment of the Stone Crayfish:

The submountainous streams are habitats of the Stone Crayfish. But the native crayfish has become very rare and in the Eifel it survives at just one location. The waters / streams in the project areas will – after implementation of the measures – form an ideal habitat for this crayfish. Thus, the Stone Crayfish will be introduced into three streams in the project area. From them, it is hoped it will recolonise its former living range.