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More space for rivers, moors and grasslands in the Bavarian Forest National Park

Natura 2000 Award finalist - Conservation category -  2022 edition

Bavarian Forest National Park 2

The Bavarian Forest National Park was founded in 1970 and is therefore Germany’s oldest national park. It is a sanctuary for numerous animals, plants and fungus species across an area of over 240 square kilometres. The natural communities here are left to develop according to their own laws without the influence of man. Together with the neighbouring Šumava National Park in the Czech Republic, a borderless forest wilderness is emerging here which is unique in Europe.

The national park includes the European conservation areas DE6946301 (SCI/SAC) and DE6946401 (SPA), which are almost similar. All measures concerned the whole national park area and therefore both conservation areas.  Despite consistent conservation strategies, several habitats, which are particularly deserving of protection have been or are currently endangered by human activity – which is why the LIFE+ project was launched in the National Park with the aim of improving these habitats.

The National Park Administration was able to implement a range of positive conservation-driven measures: One visible example of this is the grazing of the Ruckowitzschachten. The cattle that graze this area are not only reviving a tradition within the region, but also substantially enhancing a unique habitat featuring endangered nardus grasslands (6230 *) – an area undoubtedly deserving of protection.

On the other hand, it was possible to give the natural world more space in areas where natural processes had in part been massively disrupted by human activities in the past. By restoring watercourses, bogs and alluvial forests, species have been able to re-establish themselves in many areas where they were in retreat. The dispersal of Cottus gobio could be mentioned as a successful example.

Bavarian Forest National Park