In these two areas of our biodiversity management we developed new concepts and measures in 2016, and we hired a trained forest ranger and a green space manager. Because the necessary knowledge about species protection and the current challenges for maintaining biodiversity are ever-increasing!
In 2016 we updated the brochure "Natura 2000 and species protection". It contains various recommendations and details for construction planning for the traffic infrastructure.
A uniform concept for monitoring green crossings was also created in the past year. It will be implemented this year, and in addition to functionality, it should also improve the planning and construction of future green bridges. For this purpose, at about 20 green crossings thermal imaging cameras are being installed, tracks studied or pitfall traps set up.
Since April 2016 we have been participating in the Austria-wide initiative: "Nature Connects: Every square metre counts". This cooperative project by the Naturschutzbund (Nature Conservation Association), Ministry of Environment, Chamber of Agriculture, and the Federal Forestry Office is collecting valuable "square metres" of flowering areas, colourful edges of fields, or meadows of wildflowers. The initiative is calling for private individuals, companies and other organisations to connect their natural areas. Because "Nature Connects" hopes for an extensive map of large, interconnected areas used in a near-natural way. Therefore, in cooperation with the Nature Conservation Association, we are defining areas along the motorways which we want to develop into location-appropriate flower meadows. Up to now, about 40.000 m2 have been seeded with location-appropriate seeds. Due to the success of the cooperation it has been extended for another two years.