Bavarian Forest
National Park


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Aims of the project

Focus Bogs - Hydrologic restoration

Bogs and peatland forests with their rare and highly specialized species are not only regarded as a special feature of the national park. They are also habitats of particular value within the Natura 2000 network.

However, in the past, many bog areas were heavily damaged or completely destroyed through drainage and cultivation. With the aid of LIFE+, ditches and field tracks will be levelled and shrubs atypical for the habitat will be removed. Through these rehydration measures, the water resources and ecosystem functions of these valuable areas will be sustainably improved, especially for such rare species as the black stork and the large whitefaced darter.


Focus Rivers and streams - Improved water connectivity and natural dynamics

In the national park, the natural dynamics and connectivity of many rivers and streams for aquatic organisms are strongly restricted. Partly, this is caused by historic adaptations of the waterbodies to the needs of timber rafting, which particularly affected riverbeds and areas along riverbanks. But also modern road and railway construction contributed to the impair-ment of the water ways.

With the LIFE+ objective of improving these water habitats, the obstructed sections will be renaturalized, and canalization will be reconstructed or removed. These measures will benefit all organisms living in or around the streams and rivers, including also the European bullhead and European otter, species listed in the Habitats Directive.


Focus Historic pastures - Conservation of nardus grasslands through grazing

Reminiscent of “islands in a woodland ocean", the so-called “Schachten" are high-altitude, unforested pastures that were created by historic cattle grazing. The specialized and rare species found in these habitats, e.g. mountain arnica and nardus-grass, render them of Eu-rope-wide importance worthy of protection.

So far, volunteers have been instrumental to the preservation of the old pastures by mechan-ically clearing the forest brush. However, without the influence of animal browsing and tread-ing typical of pasture use, the nardus grasslands are losing their characteristic qualities as the ground vegetation gradually transforms into a habitat dominated by shrubs and sedges. Therefore, within the LIFE+ activities, the national park is exemplarily testing the grazing of red mountain cattle on the Rukowitz Schachten. The aim is to develop a new conservation approach for sustainably preserving nardus grasslands by using this traditional method. The trial grazing project, however, is as an experiment with an open outcome.