Energy Storage Riedl: Attractive new Living Space for Sand Lizards and Co

6/25/2013Gottsdorf

Extensive Annual Plan for Advanced Ecological Compensation Measures

As part of the energy storage project in Riedl, the Donaukraftwerk Jochenstein AG has already implemented some ecological compensation measures before the actual construction phase begins. These so-called CEF- measures (Continuous Ecological Functionality) mean that the measures put in place have to be completely functional at the start of construction of the energy storage facility in Riedl. Already in 2012, measures such as egg-laying boxes for reptiles and the Ficht pond were introduced. In 2013, together with the landscape protection association of Passau, ecologist Yvonne Sommer devised a further comprehensive plan of measures, which guaranteed an optimum replacement living area in the immediate vicinity for all animal and plant species. During a background discussion at Gottsdorf and Krottenthal, Yvonne Sommer and Franz Elender from the landscape protection association explained this package of measures using the example of a newly laid garden for sand lizards.

"CEF-measures serve to protect ecosystems, which can be affected by construction projects", says Dominik Mayr, head of the Riedl energy storage project. "In order to guarantee the continued existence of these ecosystems, compensation measures with a sufficiently long timeframe will be implemented before construction begins. During this time, independent surveyors will check the function and effectiveness of the created replacement living spaces according to legal requirements", says Mayr.

Such measures have been implemented continuously in the Gottsdorf area and in the Jochenstein valley floor already since 2011. "The positioned egg-laying boxes for the Aesculapian snake in the surroundings of the Riedler depression and in the Donauleiten nature reserve or in the sowing of corn cockle rye-mixes in the Krottenthal area, which partridges and lapwings like to use, are well accepted by the animals", says Sommer. In these areas there is a nearly extinct type of old Bavarian forest rye, which will be cultivated in the area within the spirit of species protection.

New: Sand Lizard Garden

Also in 2013, several measures were launched and implemented once more. The ecologist illustrated what had to be paid particular attention to, using the example of a newly set-up sand lizard garden between the areas of Gottsdorf and Krottenthal: "Natural structures made of wood, stone and sand will be created, in which reptiles feel particularly comfortable and where they enjoy spending time. They can sun themselves copiously on the warm stones, they can find shelter between the many root stocks." We have made sure that we pay careful attention to all animal species and secure them the exact living space that they would need and which they are entitled to. Around this area there is a field with local plants and grasses, which counts as part of the compensation measures.

Native Seeds and Native Fields

 

Solely regional and native seeds and plants have been used in all newly cultivated and sowed areas. In this way the tampering of the field plants with subspecies from other regions can be prevented. Thus in autumn 2013, for example, near Krottenthal, a horse-shoe shaped piece of land was laid out with a fallow strip using material from a field in the nearby vicinity. Additionally, hedges will be planted. "Above all lapwings find an attractive living space in such structures", explains Yvonne Sommer. Altogether roughly ten such fields have been planned in the entire project area.

Skylark Plots and Tree Hollows for Bats

In the CEF plan of measures for the energy storage facility in Riedl, what is known as a skylark plot is also included. These come about when roughly 100 square metres of fallow land is left in the winter crops and this thus results in "holes", which the skylarks use as "landing strips". The skylarks can build their nests there and breed. Hollow trunks, where bats can find shelter have also been planned. Additionally, holes have been prepared in the trees, which can be expanded into lairs by the bats.

Weiher Ficht Pond

Last year already, the body of standing water "Weiher Ficht" was created to replace both ponds in the Riedler depression. A large and a small pool have provided new living spaces since autumn 2012 for, for example, the yellow-bellied toad, the common toad and the grass frog, and in future, when the flora has grown well enough, also for the lapwings and the willow herb hawkmoths.

"In spring we resettled the first amphibians to their new wet areas", explained Yvonne Sommer. Twice a day, she collected the animals together in the collection containers which were laid out and brought them to the Weiher Ficht pond. "The grass frog even spawned and the tadpoles have developed well", said a pleased Sommer. "This is a good sign: This means that they like their new living space." The demonstrated implementation of CEF measures are, along with the actual currently ongoing approval process, a further small yet also important step in the direction of implementing the future project of the energy storage facility in Riedl.

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