Naturefund bought together with HGON another wet meadow in the Kinzig valley. Altogether four hectares are now protected, which we aim to convert into a biodiverse lapwing biotope.
The land is located in the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, surrounded by wet meadows, in the middle of the floodplain Langenselbold. In its immediate neighbourhood is one of the last known breeding spots for lapwings in south Hesse. Summer 2010, Naturefund, HGON and the Stadtler Nature Conservation foundation were able to buy and protect 9.770 square metres of land for the rare meadow bird.
Naturefund and the HGON Main-Kinzig have now bought and secured one of the adjoining plots of land of 5.662 square metres for the lapwing. With this new piece of land the protected area has increased to four hectares, benefitting the lapwing and other rare species, such as meadow pipit, whinchat, black kite and European tree frog among others.
2 to 4 breeding pairs of lapwings regularly breed here. Since 2004 white storks raise their young on the nesting platform. In the past, the European curlew, last seen in 1979, and many other meadow birds lived here: common snipe, meadow pipit, whinchat, corn bunting and corncrake. All these meadow birds are potential breeding in the area. Other animal species include red kite, black kite, European tree frog and other kinds of frog. Flora Marsh ragwort, burnet as well as vegetation specific for floodplains.
The lapwing meadow is located in a landscape conservation area, called „Auenverbund Kinzig“, which covers 126 square kilometres. The spacious open wet meadow landscape is marked by a distinctive relief in the ground, because of which temporary hollows and pools develop that flood at high water. These ground conditions provide an ideal habitat for meadow birds, such as the lapwing and other Charadriiformes. The rivers Kinzig and the smaller Hasselbach run through the area. Only few trees and shrubs grow on the wet meadow, mostly on the seams of the Kizig river. Right now, the land is primarily cultivated as grassland. A few single acres still intersperse the meadow land. In many pools copses develop with a high ratio of willow trees.
The Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz e. V. (short: HGON) is Naturefund's partner in this project and is now owner of the land. The HGON branch Main-Kinzig will conserve the lapwing habitat long-term.
Concept for protection
It is our goal to offer the lapwing and other ground-breeding bird species a protected habitat, where they can find food when resting on their journey to wintering grounds and where they can raise their young undisturbed in the breeding season from March to April. The cultivation of grassland in the area will soon be widely extended. This means no fertiliser and mowings only once or twice a year after June. Further artificially created flood hollows are supposed to help improve the food availability for meadow birds as well as the stork. Land with short grass, free of vegetation, is especially helpful during breeding season, because feeding options for the lapwing chicks rapidly decrease through dense vegetation or the desiccation of the ground.
Until the middle of the last century, the agricultural use of land with extensive cultivation by small farms helped the spreading of meadow birds throughout Hesse. The Kinzig floodplain of Langenselbold is a good example. As breeding ground, resting ground and migration zone for endangered meadow birds, the Kinzig valley has had, and still has, regional importantance. Ever since the 1970s, the population of meadow birds has been rapidly declining. The reasons are manifold: steadily intensifying agriculture with strong fertilisers, early mowings and the rigorous drainage of meadow land. As the only ground-breeding bird, the lapwing yielded to bordering acres for breeding. Other ground-breeding meadow birds almost entirely disappeared. However, the cultivation of the acres leads to very high losses of both lapwing eggs and chicks. For the long-term conservation of the lapwing, the successful breedings on acres are far too few. Join us and help us to buy more land for nature! To our current projectMore about the lapwingMore about wet meadows as habitatMore about flood hollows and wells