The Aesculapian snake is the largest snake in Europe. It can grow up to two meters long and is completely safe. Their most northern distribution area is Wiesbaden and the Rheingau, but their habitat is in acute danger. The massive use of pesticides in agriculture and the expansion of settlements make the snakes' habitat increasingly disappear. In addition, every year numerous animals are killed by road traffic or mowing. Therefore, the Aesculapian Snake is classified as "critically endangered" in the Red List of Animals.
The name Aesculapian snake is similar to that of the Greek god of healing Asklepios, who could even bring the dead back to life. He was already leaning on the famous Aesculapius in the oldest mythological depictions. This is the landmark of doctors and pharmacists around the world. In Europe, the adder populates a wide range of habitats. In Hesse, they are found mainly on dry slopes, in and on the edge of sparse deciduous forests, in creek valleys and on orchards. On the menu of the adder are mainly small rodents and birds.
The place Schlangenbad near Wiesbaden is one of the last habitats of the Aesculapian snake in Central Europe. Due to its Mediterranean climate, it was able to maintain a population of adders, which today only occurs in southern Europe and Asia Minor. In the immediate vicinity there is an ideal habitat for the native snake. In a valley with a richly structured landscape, there is a mosaic of biotopes offering shelter, open spaces for sunbathing, sufficient food supply, oviposition areas and frost-free hibernation areas.
Naturefund has bought a plot of 649 m² in the valley near Frauenstein together with the nature conservation center Wiesbaden and designed it as a habitat for the adders. In addition, 760 m² of Naturefund have been abandoned as a biotope for the snake, and a further 1,753 m² will be leased from the town, which is already being looked after by Naturefund and the nature conservation center
We want to preserve biodiversity in this region and, above all, give the endangered Aesculapian Snake the chance to reproduce in a protected environment.
In total, more than 3,000 m² are set up for the snake as a protected area and we are in discussion with other owners to protect a total of 5,000 m² of land.
The project to protect the Aesculapian Snake was honored by the UN Decade of Biodiversity. The celebration of the UN Decade will be awarded to projects that are exemplary in preserving biodiversity.
Among others with the Energy Globe Awards and the UN Decade of Biodiversity
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Successful examination of Naturefund by auditors: The association uses the donations properly for nature conservation projects. Also, the tax office certifies Naturefund its charitable.