FFH species of the open land

FFH species of the open land

Annex II of the Habitats Directive lists "animal and plant species of Community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation". Many species are listed here which individual states consider worthy of protection in their catchment areas, but which do not occur naturally in all states. In this respect, these individual states bear a very special responsibility for these species.

Annex IV is a list of animal and plant species that are protected throughout Europe by the Habitats Directive because they are endangered throughout Europe and thus also in the respective member states in which they occur and are therefore worthy of protection. In Germany, the protection of Annex IV species has been incorporated into the Federal Nature Conservation Act as "strictly protected species"

AppendixV lists animal and plant species whose decline and endangerment was primarily caused by their removal from the wild and which therefore had to be protected from further uncontrolled removal.

Annex I of the Birds Directive lists bird species that are particularly endangered or worthy of protection (migratory and breeding birds).

Some examples of FFH species that are native to the open land of the national park are presented below.

Species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive

Golden Fritillary
(Euphydryas aurinia)

Another special feature of the golden fritillary is its function as a so-called umbrella species. This means that numerous other animal and plant species, some of which are also endangered, benefit from the conservation of its populations and the protection of its habitats.

Yellow-bellied toad
(Bombina variegata)

Yellow-bellied toads lay their spawn in shallow waters, often just puddles. These are created where the ground is compacted - for example by cattle and horses, which particularly like to roll around in certain areas or enter them very frequently.

Northern crested newt
(Triturus cristatus)

After spending time in the water, the aquatic diet, in particular the conspicuous skin fringes of the males, is largely lost in late summer and gives way to a more inconspicuous terrestrial diet.

Narrow nappe snail
(Vertigo angustior)

With a shell size of only 1.8 x 0.9 mm, the narrow nappe snail is the smallest native nappe snail. It is widespread throughout Europe. Central Europe lies in the center of the species range and it has a distribution center in Germany.

Species listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive

(Felis silvestris)

Especially in the vicinity of core areas of wildcat distribution, an increased occurrence of this forest dweller can also be observed in open land areas. Recent research shows that these are not (only) migratory animals in search of new forest habitats, but that the wildcats also use these areas as summer habitats despite the lack of forest. The presence of sufficient cover is always essential.

Sand lizard
(Lacerta agilis)

In German-speaking countries, sand lizards exceptionally reach total lengths of around 24 cm. Particularly large animals here have head-torso lengths of around 9.5 cm and tail lengths of around 14 cm.

Valuable species according to the Birds Directive

Corn Bunting
(Emberiza calandra)

The corn bunting prefers structurally rich, open landscapes that are well laid out, but interspersed with individual bushes that are used as singing sites. It is therefore finding fewer and fewer suitable habitats and breeding grounds in the intensively used agricultural landscape. The population of this species, which is mainly found in Europe, comprises around 250 territories in the national park and corresponds to around ¼ of the population in the whole of Thuringia (as of 2021).

Meadow pipit
(Anthus pratensis)

The meadow pipit is mainly found on the ground. However, it also likes to perch on fence posts and bushes. It builds its cup-shaped nest on the ground in dense vegetation.

Red-backed Shrike
(Lanius collurio)

The red-backed shrike has become the symbol of hedge-breeding birds par excellence. It builds its nests mainly in thorny bushes, but also in thornless bushes and small trees. The red-backed shrike got its brutal-sounding name because of its prey behavior. It impales insects, small birds or mice on thorns or sharp branches as a food reserve or for processing.

Great Grey Shrike
(Lanius excubitor)

It is listed as "threatened with extinction" in the Thuringia Red List. The great grey shrike is primarily affected by increasing habitat loss and change. The intensification of agriculture and the clearing of the landscape, but also a reduced food supply due to the intensive use of pesticides and disturbances caused by recreational use have had a very negative impact on its populations.

(Saxicola rubetra)

Important props in the whinchat's habitat are perches, e.g. shrubs, posts, fences, individual bushes or overhead power lines. The nests are built on the ground in dense herbaceous vegetation, usually on fringe structures in the open landscape. They mainly feed on insects, arachnids, small snails and worms.

The main wintering areas of this long-distance migrant are in the savannah regions south of the Sahara and the grasslands in eastern Africa from Ethiopia to northern Zambia. In Central Europe, the breeding areas are usually occupied in April and left between early August and early October.

Turtle dove
(Streptopelia turtur)

The turtle dove has a special position among our native pigeons because it is a long-distance migrant. This is why it only has a short breeding season. Its distribution is limited to dry, warm areas and it largely stays away from cities. However, this special position is not exactly advantageous for the small pigeon, as it is facing drastic population declines in many places.

Turtle doves are very popular because they represent happiness, love and peace. In the past, people also believed that turtle doves protected them from disease.

Turtle doves have a purely vegetarian diet. Their diet consists mainly of seeds and fruits from various wild herbs such as knotweed and goosefoot, but also grasses and cereals.

Grey partridge
(Perdix perdix)

For their size of 28 to 32 cm, partridges can lay an astonishing number of eggs - up to 20. Partridges are part of the chicken family. As a former inhabitant of the steppes and forest-steppes of Central Europe as far as Asia, the partridge became a cultural successor due to the expansion of agriculture. Today, the partridge can be found in open areas such as meadows, fields and fallow land. It breeds in dense bushes and hedges, which is why a richly structured landscape is required as a habitat.

Red kite
(Milvus milvus)

There is no other bird species of which such a large proportion of the global population breeds in Germany. Almost 60% of the global breeding population breeds in Germany.

Distinctive features of the red kite are its deeply forked tail and its rust-colored ground color. On the underside, white windows are visible on the wings during flight.