Saar-Blies loess loam landscape (Saar-Blies-Gau)
The Saar-Blies loess loam landscape is among the most climatically favourable Muschelkalk-Keuper loess-loam landscapes of south-west Germany. It consists of an ancient, richly structured cultural landscape with extensive agricultural use and a low proportion of forest. It accounts for the highest density of habitats meriting special protection in the whole of Saarland. Distinctive elements include limestone semi-dry grassland, Arrhenateretum elatioris dry meadows (subass. with Salvia pratensis, 'Salbei-Glatthaferwiesen'), open orchard meadows and near-natural forests. Project support will safeguard not only the chorologically significant occurrences of pasqueflower (Pulsatilla) and monkey orchid (Orchis simia), but other species of submediterranean flora as well. These primarily include other orchids, such as Ophrys and Orchis species and the frog orchid (Coeloglossum viride). From a faunistic viewpoint, the occurrence of tree-crickets (Oecanthus pellucens), New Forest cicadas (Cicadetta montana), northern shrikes (Lanius excubitor excubitor) and melodious warblers (Hippolais polyglotta) are important.
The objective of the project is to conserve, develop and manage an old, diversely structured and traditionally extensive cultural landscape supporting numerous rare, endangered and/or characteristic animal and plant species. It will prioritize the biocoenoses having greatest conservation value and unable to survive without an appropriate conservation strategy. Therefore it is especially important to recommence or continue with extensive land-use practices. Furthermore, it is also an object of this project to conserve biocoenoses and their developmental stages which do not require special management.