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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Spree forest

Areas and habitats
Waters and floodplains
Large-Scale Conservation Projects
Broadly meshed watercourse system with carr woodlands, riparian woodlands and nutrient-rich moist meadows
Federal state
Division II 2.4 Water Ecosystems, Hydrologie, Blue Belt
Funding phase I: 2001 - 2003 Funding phase II: 2004 - 2013
core area: 8.450 ha
South-east Brandenburg, to the north-west of Cottbus
Grant amount
Funding phase I: 1.400.000 € Funding phase II: 10.800.000 €

Project description

The Spreewald is representative of a broad-scale contiguous ecosystem characterized by a widely branched system of watercourses. In the inner Spree forest, particularly in the lower Spree forest on expansive fen sites, damp forests with a high groundwater level are predominant (alder carr woodlands dominated by European alder (Alnus glutinosa) as well as alder-ash forests);

in the upper Spree forest, nutrient-rich 'damp grasslands' are also found. Due to the largely intact condition of natural resources in the Spree forest, it is a refugium for around 500 threatened animal and plant species. The endangered species include the Eurasian river otter (Lutra lutra), black stork (Ciconia nigra), Eurasian crane (Grus grus), white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina) and several dragonfly species such as the beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo), banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens), several club-tailed dragonflies (Gomphus vulgatissimus, G. flavipes, Ophiogomphus cecilia) and a range of other invertebrates. Typical floristic elements of the Spree forest are represented by the river valley species Gratiola officinalis, Cnidium dubium and Inula britannica. The designation of the Spree forest as a biosphere reserve is evidence of its international importance. The project objective is the conservation and restoration of natural and near-natural components (such as damp forests, flowing and standing water, reedbeds and damp grassland) of the Spree forest lowland landscape, particularly by means of stabilizing the water regime. An early phase of the project will involve producing a management and development plan defining essential habitat creation and management measures.

Project executing agencies

Zweckverband Gewässerrandstreifenprojekt "Spreewald"
Kirchplatz 1, Postfach 200022, 03218 Lübbenau

Project funding agencies

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) / Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Zweckverband Gewässerrandstreifenprojekt "Spreewald" (Special-purpose association, 'Spree Forest' watercourse margin project)
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