Establishment of resting areas for birds along streams

Establishment of resting areas for birds along streams
The structures associated with flowing waters are often important resting areas. © Mensi/ pixelio.de

Involved sectors

Water management, Fishery, Spatial planning, Tourism and leisure, Nature protection, Other: Sports Associations

Affected habitats

Waterbodies

Description

The structures associated with flowing waters, such as gravel banks, provide important habitats for a number of species which breed on gravel areas (e.g. the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)). These areas are often used for recreation and sporting activities. Management strategies, such as the creation of quiet zones for breeding birds at particular times (including bans on access), can cut through existing conflicts and contribute to habitat improvement. Relevant measures can include the adaptation and development of infrastructure, the creation of observation points, and channelling of and information for visitors using info-boards and signage.

Impact

Impact in particular on Birds
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats The creation of a quiet environment on gravel banks during breeding periods improves habitat quality for gravel-breeding species.
Element of ecological network Natural flowing water systems and their associated structures are valuable elements of a biotope network and form stepping stone biotopes for some species.
Time of realisation for measure Months: Depending on the time of implementation, the quiet zones can soon start to be used as a breeding ground.
Impact scope Regional: The breeding areas may be of transregional importance for some species.

Implementation

Implementation period Years: When planning measures at the specific site, a longer time period should be planned (involvement of all stakeholders, assessment of stocks of breeding birds, etc.)
Frequency Non-recurring: For greater effectiveness, this should be a long-term activity adapted to emerging needs.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Medium (10'000-100'000 EUR): Costs are heavily dependent on starting conditions and the scope of the requisite measures.
Socio-economic impacts Low: When combined with attractive offers for visitors, tourist value-added can be generated.
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Relevant measures can be funded from countryside management programmes.

Further information

Evaluation As part of the Interreg III B Project "Living Space Network" (Pilot Project "Running Waters”), a conservation strategy for gravel-breeders at Halblech was developed. However, conflicts between gravel-breeding species of bird and recreational use exist at almost all stretches of rivers where gravel banks still exist. There are also examples of the creation of quiet zones, with low disturbance, for wild mammals and birds along the Danube.
Information Austria: INTERREG project: http://www.lsn.tirol.gv.at/de/doc/kiesbrueter.pdf Danube: http://www.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at/cps/rde/xchg/ooe/hs.xsl/73053_DEU_HTML.htm
Contact Austria: e.g. Office of the Government of Upper Austria, Department of Spatial Planning, Economic and Rural Development, Nature Conservation Division

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