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Berchtesgaden - Salzburg: Improving the ecological network of extensive grasslands

The "Tratten" are a regional characteristic of extensive grasslands. © Biosphere Reserve Berchtesgaden

Extensively cultivated grasslands are important landscape elements for ecological connectivity in the pilot region Berchtesgaden - Salzburg. Improving these habitats will help to safeguard species such as butterflies, dragonflies or grasshoppers. This is one of the tasks of the subprojects within ECONNECT which are currently being finalised.
According to expert opinions as well as spatial analyses, extensively cultivated grasslands have been identified as one important aspect of connectivity in the region. In order to maintain functional meta-populations of the mentioned insects, open spaces of a certain quality have to be existent in appropriate distances. But in the German-Austrian pilot region more and more cultivated areas are abandoned due to the low potential for profit. ECONNECT intends to support a process to improve the ecological network of extensive grasslands, e.g. by developing and testing innovative management and financing approaches. As a first step, a set of species is currently being identified in order to investigate the species-specific requirements for an ecological network of extensive grasslands in the pilot region.
The representatives of the pilot region Berchtesgaden - Salzburg furthermore presented their activities at the workshop "Networking diversity", which was organized by the Ecological Continuum Initiative in Berne/CH on February 12th in the frame of the conference NATUR. The presentations and the synthesis report are available on www.alpine-ecological-network.org