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Nature conservation; urban biotope mapping

Stand: 28.05.2024

Since 1979, urban biotope mapping has been carried out by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment in Bavaria's independent cities. The city of Erlangen was one of the first cities to commission a mapping of biotopes worthy of protection.

There is often an astonishing diversity of species in cities - and Erlangen is no exception. This is the conclusion reached by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU) in its current biotope and species protection mapping for the city of Erlangen, which was completed at the end of 2012.

What does the city biotope mapping involve?

The task of biotope mapping is to obtain comprehensive knowledge about the location, distribution, frequency and condition of ecologically valuable habitats in the city area. It is therefore an important and indispensable basis for nature conservation work and the enforcement of nature conservation laws.

What is species conservation mapping?

In parallel to the urban biotope mapping, extensive fauna surveys are therefore also carried out as part of the species conservation mapping. The animal groups reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies, grasshoppers, bats, butterflies, wild bees and wasps are being studied. Species conservation mapping is therefore an essential addition to biotope mapping.

What impact does biotope mapping have on the landowner?

The biotope mapping is merely an inventory of the natural environment. It has neither the task nor the legal means to place ecologically valuable areas under protection or to prescribe certain management methods for landowners. It is not the mapping, but nature itself that makes an area a biotope. However, legal restrictions can result from existing laws and protected area regulations - but not from the biotope mapping itself.

Mapping - for whom?

Biotope and species conservation mapping provides an important basis for nature conservation and thus contributes significantly to the preservation of ecologically valuable landscape components for future generations. With this data basis, measures can be taken to protect the increasingly rare habitats for animals and plants from impairment and destruction and to take appropriate account of nature and landscape conservation concerns.

The biotope mapping is therefore a working and decision-making basis for local landscape conservation measures and the Bavarian Contractual Nature Conservation Program, for the assessment of interventions in nature and landscape and for the development of landscape and green structure plans as part of urban land-use planning. It thus serves as the basis for many important decisions by our nature conservation authority in the Environmental Agency, but also in matters of urban development in Erlangen.

Results - Statistics

Biotope mapping The city biotope mapping was updated between July 2009 and June 2011. The total area of mapped biotopes is 896 ha.

There are currently 318 biotopes in the urban area with a total of 1729 sub-areas, which corresponds to approx. 12% of the urban area. Forests, with the exception of urban forests, were not revised but taken over from the old mapping for information purposes.

In comparison, on average only 4% of the state of Bavaria is mapped as a biotope, so the city of Erlangen is well above this figure. This shows that it is possible to provide a large number of high-quality habitats for animal and plant species despite dense population and a lot of infrastructure.

Species-rich meadows make up the largest proportion of the city's area. As this type of biotope has declined sharply throughout Germany in recent years and is rapidly being lost due to intensification of use, the protection of these meadows is particularly important in Erlangen.

The legally protected and highly endangered sandy grasslands, which are mainly found in the Central Franconian Basin, are only found in relatively small areas in Erlangen. The preservation and maintenance of these areas is therefore extremely important.

The high proportion of typical urban biotope types such as parks and green spaces with old trees, individual trees and rows of trees is remarkable.

In the 1979-1991 biotope mapping of the city of Erlangen, 311 biotopes with 436 sub-areas and an area of around 880 ha were recorded. This means that the area has remained almost the same.

Species conservation mapping In the course of the species conservation mapping, over 3000 records of 370 animal species were made, distributed over 323 delimited habitats or point records. Particularly noteworthy - to name just a few - are the occurrences of the moor frog, tree frog and crested newt, the marsh grasshopper and small heath grasshopper and the green wedge-winged dragonfly. In the case of wild bees, 18 species were identified that are considered at least "highly endangered" according to the German or Bavarian Red List - this figure alone impressively underlines the importance that even small-scale urban habitats can have for species conservation.

How do you get the results?

The biotope mapping data is available to the public for download on the LfU website.

The results of the species conservation mapping are available to the nature conservation authorities for their daily work and are also made available by the LfU to planning offices and experts for individual projects on request if there is legitimate interest.

Further information can be found under the following links

Species conservation mapping - Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU)

Biotope mapping - Data - Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU)

FIS-Nature - Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU)

Department of Nature Conservation and Landscape Planning


Schuhstraße 40
91052 Erlangen


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