Second Lapwing

Lapwing
Lapwing
Photo: D. Nill

Naturefund, together with HGON bought another 5,662 square metres of meadow in Kinzigtal in order to convert it into a Lapwing biotope. The Lapwing has almost entirely disappeared from our landscape as wetland meadows have become increasingly rare in Germany.

Basic data

Location

The Lapwing habitat that is to be protected is located in the Main-Kinzig area, in the middle of the flood plains of the Kinzig river and is surrounded by wet meadows. One of the last known Lapwing breeding places of South Hesse can be found in close proximity.

The meadow that we would like to buy borders the existing biotope, and would increase the habitat for the Lapwing and for many other species to a total of 3 hectares.

Size

The additional area covers 5.662 square metres.

Wildlife

The Lapwing, with 2 to 4 breeding pairs each year The White Stork, which since 2004 has nested regularly on the nesting platform. Other animal species to be found are the Red Kite, Black Kite, European tree frog and certain types of green frog.

Flora

Marsh Ragwort, Sanguisorba and meadow-specific plant communities.

Special characteristics

The Lapwing area covers almost 1 hectare and lies in a spacious, semi-open to open meadow landscape and features a large flood channel. Due to this flood channel there are temporary wells and flood hollows, which fill up at times of high water and provide optimal living conditions for all meadow-breeders, such as the Lapwing. The Kinzig river and the smaller Hasselbach river traverse the area. The meadow is only partially covered in trees and bushes, which mainly line the banks of the Kinzig river. At present the area is predominantly managed as a grassland.

History

In the beginning, agricultural use by small-holders and extensive cultivation of the land enabled the wide proliferation of meadow birds in Hesse. This could be observed up until half-way through the last century. Since the 1970s, the number of meadow birds has been decreasing. There are a number of reasons for this: a steady intensification of agriculture with stronger fertilisers, early mowing and the rigorous draining of meadows. As the only meadow-breeding bird species, the Lapwing shunned neighbouring farmland for its breeding ground, whilst other meadow birds have almost totally disappeared. However for the Lapwing this has the disadvantage that modern agriculture with its big machines, destroys many egg nests and young birds. The Lapwing population continues to decrease.

Partner

The Hessische Gesellschaft für Ornithologie und Naturschutz e. V. (HGON) is Naturefund's partner in this project and will be the future owner of the area. The local Main-Kinzig branch of HGON will manage the Lapwing habitat in the long-term.

Concept for protection

The goal is to offer a habitat to the Lapwing and other meadow-breeding bird species in which they can feed during the resting time and bring up their young undisturbed in the breeding season from March to April. In the future the cultvation of the grassland area should be carried out without the use of fertilisers and it should be cut once or a maximum of twice per year, from June onwards. Additional flood hollows should also help to improve the food situation for meadow birds, as well as for the Stork.

 

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