Meadows and pastures increasingly at risk

Meadows and pastures increasingly at risk

Meadows and pastures in germany are increasingly threatened. This is the result of information provided by the federal office for nature conservation (bfn), which was presented today by federal environment minister barbara hendricks (SPD).

According to the report, almost two-thirds of the 863 habitat species found in germany face a "tense threat situation" caused, among other things, by intensive agriculture.

"The fact that around two-thirds of the habitat species found in this country are endangered is mainly due to intensive agriculture and is the result of a misguided agricultural policy," said the chairman of the bund fur umwelt und naturschutz deutschland (BUND), hubert weiger, in a response. The conversion of germany into a "meat factory" has unfortunately been pushed ahead strongly in recent years. "The loss of insect and bird species as well as many rare plants will continue if the next federal government does not finally address the agricultural turnaround."

Diana pretzell, head of nature conservation in germany at the environmental foundation WWF, also voiced criticism. "The constant intensification of agriculture is a real biotope killer," she said. "Pastures, meadows and fields are changing dramatically, being replaced by overgrown, uniform monocultures."The classic forest and meadow birds, butterflies and field hamsters disappeared along with their habitats. "There is a threat of a mute, monotonous cultural landscape."

According to the bfn data, the situation has deteriorated particularly sharply in the case of grassland, but orchard meadows are also coming under increasing pressure. In contrast, there have been positive developments in crustal biotopes and on many rivers and streams, which are benefiting, for example, from renaturation projects and better clearing facilities. This does not apply to groundwater due to the high nitrogen load from manure, and many standing waters are still polluted.

"Many lakes and rivers are polluted by high nitrate levels and pesticides and are therefore far from being in good condition," said BUND chairman weiger. "Intensive animal husbandry and a profit-maximizing agricultural industry are responsible for the poor quality of many waters."

The new red list of endangered biotope types serves as a handbook for nature conservation plans in germany. The new list updates the 2006 version. There are many different habitat types in germany, about 46 types of fliegend waters and 20 types of arable fields and fallows.

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