Experiencing wilderness, crossing borders
Participants of this field excursion got to experience wilderness just outside of the capital – only one and a half hours by car away from Berlin. Extensive, unfragmented former military training sites, post-mining landscapes and near-natural forests and bogs line the South of Brandenburg like a string of pearls, serving as stepping-stone biotopes.
Having a direct link to Poland’s abundant nature, Brandenburg is an important site for migrating species and a central element of the pan-European network of corridors for wild animals. Motorways, roads and agrarian landscapes, however, often present insurmountable obstacles for the European otter, red deer, grey wolf, beaver and other wild animals.
In order to facilitate the migration crucial for their survival, the Foundation for Natural Landscapes in Brandenburg initiated the project “Ökologischer Korridor Südbrandenburg” (Ecological Corridor South Brandenburg) to build an ecological network. On this trip participants discovered the challenges facing the project and saw some of the project’s exemplary solutions.
At the bridge near Rädigke partakers learned about the impact of environmental conditions on animal behaviour and how findings can be used to efficiently and cost-effectively upgrade existing structures alongside roads for the benefit of wild animals. Here they could test monitoring technology in practice and from the animals’ point of view.
Afterwards the group visited the newly completed green bridge crossing over Motorway 9 near Niemegk. Supervised by an expert, they searched for tracks to determine which animals are already using the bridge. After a snack they went for a little hike to the fringes of the wilderness area near Jüterbog. This coherent area of 7,100 ha is one of the core zones of the ecological corridor and is owned by the Foundation for Natural Landscapes in Brandenburg. In addition to many other rare species, a family of grey wolves has recently settled here.
Brandenburg Wilderness Foundation
young wolves: © Roland Hennig • the so called ‘Millionenbrücke’ near Raben: ©Foundation for Natural Landscapes Brandenburg • wild life crossing at the A9 near Niemegk: © Landesbetrieb Straßenwesen Brandenburg, Peter Kralack