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The technical standards of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) of Lambrecht & Trautner (2007) to assess significant adverse effects on Natura 2000 sites in an Appropriate Assessment (AA) according to Art. 6 Habitats Directive are recognized as state-of-the-art of science and technology. They have been judicially confirmed and are broadly used in practice in different types of projects and case scenarios. Fretzer & Möckel (2015) now challenge these conventions and propose the so-called Ecopath ecosystem model as an alternative approach for Appropriate Assessments. The present article explains why the criticism is not applicable. On the one hand, it is based on an incorrect understanding of the legal and technical basics of AA, and on the other hand on a wrong interpretation of the derivation, the conceptual contents, and the application of the technical standards. In this respect, it is also neither applicable nor comprehensible, that for a surveyed (fictional) case study the Ecopath ecosystem model should evince significant adverse impacts. The accomplishments are therefore neither suitable to cast doubt on the BfN-standards nor to do they suggest an alternative method for assessing the significance within the framework of the AA. The BfN-standards still provide an appropriate methodology for the professional interpretation of the significance- term in the context of AA of plans and projects affecting Natura 2000 sites, also in the light of the strict case-law of the European Court of Justice. © 2015, Verlag Eugen Ulmer. All rights reserved.

Weking S.,University of Munster | Hermann G.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung | Fartmann T.,University of Munster | Fartmann T.,University of Osnabrück
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2013

Mires are characterised by highly specialised and threatened wildlife. One of these mire specialists that has severely declined is the Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia). However, detailed studies concerning the reasons for the dramatic population loss in central Europe are missing so far. In this paper: (1) we analyse the habitat preferences of adult C. tullia and oviposition site selection with respect to mire type and land use in one of the last German strongholds, and (2) we attempt to disentangle the impacts of land use and climate change on the decline of C. tullia on a national scale across Germany. Abundance of adult C. tullia was clearly affected by mire type and land use. It was highest on managed calcareous fens and lowest on unmanaged transition and raised bogs. The oviposition pattern of C. tullia females was best explained by (1) quantity of potential host plants (Eriophorum latifolium), (2) vegetation structure, and (3) microclimate. In Germany, C. tullia populations have become extinct in lowlands with a mild and relatively dry climate while most colonies in wet and cold mountain areas have survived. However, there is evidence that habitat loss and habitat deterioration, rather than climate change, are the drivers of the range retraction. To create low-growing vegetation rich in E. latifolium, traditional mowing late in the year and light grazing seem to be suitable management tools. In addition, conservation management should aim to maintain high water levels or restore them, especially to counteract effects of climate change in the future. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Woodcocks are sensitive to Wind Power plants, and their harming can break legislation on species protection – Reply to Schmal (2015) in the context of the publication by Dorka et al. (2014) In Dorka et al. (2014) we presented methods and results from our investigation by synchronized census of the impact of a wind farm in the northern black forest on woodcock (Scolopax rusticola). The study addressed aspects of species protection and environmental liability. Schmal (2015, in this journal) criticizes several aspects, poses some questions and presents alternative attempts to explain the highly signifcant decrease in aerial display activities resp. abundance of males. The reply presented discusses the responses in detail and rejects the criticism. None of the alternative explanation attempts appears plausible. The conclusion drawn by Schmal that the installation and operation of wind turbines regularly does not break law according to Article 44 of the German Federal Nature Conservation Act, cannot be accepted from our point of view (concerning areas with presence of this species), neither professionally nor legally. The woodcock still has to be classifed as species sensitive to wind energy plants and requires consideration in the planning and evaluation process of wind energy projects, particularly in the legal context of species protection. © 2014, Verlag Eugen Ulmer. All Rights Reserved.

Bohler E.,Brunnenhalde 6 | Seidt M.,Eichertstr. 7 | Anthes N.,University of Tübingen | Straub F.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung | Hermann G.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung
Zeitschrift fur Feldherpetologie | Year: 2015

We analyze range shifts and model habitat preferences of the yellow-bellied toad at two spatial scales in a 964 ha survey area in the Rammert forest range (Tübingen district, Baden-Württemberg). The grid-incidence of yellow-bellied toads increased from 31% to 54% between 1994-1998 and 2013. Given that the initial survey did not explicitly focus on this species and therefore likely underestimated its occurrence, we interpret these data as indicating a roughly stable population size and spatial range. At the level of pond fields, toad incidence increased with the number of ephemeric ponds within a field and with their average pH. At the level of individual ponds within pond fields, incidence increased with the duration of direct insolation and the actual pond pH. We found that the preferred neutral to mildly alkaline ponds were primarily present in streambeds as well as on Lower Jurassic and Keuper bedrocks. In contrast, clay and sandstone bedrocks held more acidic ponds, except close to forest tracks covered with limestone gravel. We derive regionalized management measures for yellow-bellied toad populations and discuss the apparent contradiction between conservation of this prioritized species and federal guidelines for sustainable forestry. © Laurenti-Verlag, Bielefeld.

Dorka U.,Kirchgasse 1 | Straub F.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung | Trautner J.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung
Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung | Year: 2014

From 2006 to 2008 (pre-post approach and additional reference) the impact of a wind farm in the northern Black Forest on the woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) was investigated by synchronized census. The aerial display activity of woodcocks decreased by 88 % between 2006 and 2008 at the 15 study sites. The differences between 2006 (before construction of the wind energy plants) and 2007 (after construction) respectively between 2006 and 2008 are highly sigificant (Kruskal-Wallis test: p ≤ 0,01), whereas the difference between 2007 and 2008 ist not significant (p > 0,05). In 2006 the number of male woodcocks in the investigation area has been estimated at about 30, based on the synchronized census. After the construction of the plants in 2007 and 2008 only 3 to 4 individuals used the investigation area. This represents a decrease in abundance from about 10.0 males / 100 hectares to about 1.2 males / 100 hectares. According to literature research this is the lowest population density for this species known so far from methodologically comparable studies. The study adresses aspects of species protection and environmental liability. The negative impacts of this local wind energy project affect the species in a scale of 0.5 to 1.3 % of its statewide population (federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg). The results lead to the conclusion that the woodcock has to be classified as species sensitive to wind energy plants, which has to be considered in the context of planning and evaluation of future projects.

The Willowherb Hawkmoth (Proserpinus proserpina) ist a strictly protected moth species listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EWG). Refering to the regulations of the German Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG, §§ 44 ff.) the aspects of killing or violation of specimens, of considerable disturbance, of deterioration or destruction of breeding sites or resting places, and the relevance of feeding sites in planning and admission procedures are discussed in detail. As a rule, rescue and translocation or other lavish measures to avoid loss of specimens during a project are regarded as disproportionate. The safeguarding of individual specimens is of minor importance compared to the ensuring of a continued ecological functionality of breeding sites or resting places. Considerable disturbance is not expected in local planning procedures. The Willowherb Hawkmoth is comparatively easy to manage. However, measures to ensure the continued ecological functionality of a habitat for this species are not part of a usual set of landscape preservation measures. They have to be directed primarily towards the development of tall herbaceous vegetation with host plants (mainly Willowherb species, Epilobium spec.) on sites which had been sealed or intensively used before. After initial measures these sites have to be integrated in a suitable permanent management. The study provides an example of the dealing with this species and its habitats which are regularly affected by planning projects in many parts of Germany.

Straub F.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung | Mayer J.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung | Trautner J.,Arbeitsgruppe fur Tierokologie und Planung
Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung | Year: 2011

A current species-area-curve for breeding birds in Southwest Germany is given, based upon the recording of 537 sites in the years 2000 - 2009 in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The curve is described by the function S = 12.0 A0.19.The sites could be differentiated according to the land use map of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Using multivariate analysis eight main habitat types were identified. For these main habitat types the following functions could be deduced: arable land (S = 3.6 A0.44, n = 36), grassland (S = 2.3 A0.51, n = 125), forest-open landscape-complex (S = 23.0 A0.12, n = 39), settlement (S = 15.1 A0.18, n = 35), open landscape-settlement-complex (S = 0.6 A0.87, n = 50), specialty crops (S = 16.3 A0.10, n = 73), orchard (S = 17.5 A0.17, n = 33), forest (S = 17.8 A0.20, n = 146). The deviation of the current species-area-curve for breeding birds in Southwest Germany from the curve presented in the 1980s for Central Europe is probably the result of a loss of breeding bird diversity during the last 30 years. Effects of differences in sampling design can however not be ruled out. The species-area-functions can be used for an objective evaluation of sites concerning the criterion species number/species diversity. They are applicable particularly for small sites (5 - 150 hectares) and take into account that complex habitats are common in Southwest Germany.

The willowherb hawkmoth (Proserpinus proserpina) ist a strict ly protected moth species listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EWG). Basic information about distribution, phenology and typical habitats in Germany is presented. Most hostplants (mainly willowherb species, Epilobium spp.) are pioneer species of mechanically disturbed sites, therefore the scope of potential habitats of the species includes many habi tat types of anthropogenic origin or influence. The paper sug gests a recording method focussing on planning practice. It includes the delimitation and documentation of sites with oc curence of host plants as well as the search for larvae and feeding patterns in one or two surveys. According to the expe rience of the authors the species might be regularly affected by planning projects (e.g. by road construction, building sites) in large parts of Germany and has to be taken into consi deration.

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