Mission - provide the mission of your organization

1. The protection of the lowland area of Spreewald with its intricate network of flowing waterways, wetland habitats rich on species, meadows an floodplain forests.

2. The preservation and reestablishment of a near-natural water regime with periodical floodings as a basis for the fauna and flora in habitats which are characteristically rich in water.

3. The preservation of traditional forms of cultivation such as cespitose fields, straw meadows and the resulting small-scale mosaic agricultural landscape.

4. The care for and support of threatened and endangered species in their habitats.

5. The regeneration of ecologically-degraded melioration areas and running waters to include their linkage to larger-scale networks of ecologically stable habitats

6. The development of progressive, forward-looking models of land cultivation, designed to promote and incorporate the participation and support of Spreewald farmers towards caring for and developing this landscape, to include the revitalization of more-traditional trades.

7. To increase the knowledge of nature through observation and by means of promoting the existence of environmentally-friendly and well-guided tourism which is so prevalent on the waterways of the region.

8. To promote broad environmental consciousness among the local population and the visitors to the Spreewald through experiencing functioning Eco-systems.

9. To conduct comprehensive ecological research which serves to gain insight and further understanding regarding the relationship between man and biosphere.

Brief - provide a brief description of the project.

The black Stork in the Spreewald region is a highly endangered species, requiring intensive conservation measures. This is substantiated by the declining reproduction rate in the researched areas during the 1990s and in the exceedingly negative population numbers in the neighboring north-east German plains.

As the diet of Black Storks consists mainly of fish, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians which live in the marshy areas, the stabilization and development of an optimal water balance is the most important requirement in order to once more increase the growth rate of offspring.

This would require renouncing to use the marshy fields, which due to financial reasons is unacceptable to the owners, as this would mean that the fields would no longer be available for lease.

We therefore suggest that between 2005 and 2007 we acquire areas which can be turned into wetlands, or buy existing wetland in the Spreewald area, in order to develop them into feeding grounds for the Black Stork as well as many other species.

Landowners have expressed willingness to sell approx. 25 ha. Furthermore a dam would need to be built from an existing trench to increase the water level.

Objectives - list the project objectives ? what do you want to achieve?

1. Stabilization of an optimal water balance in the provided area in order to preserve the feeding habitat for the Black Stork

Providing an intact wetland means to provide a feeding ground for the Black Stork, as well as many other species.

2. Increase the growth rate of the Black Stork population

An intact feeding habitat is required to achieve an increase of the growth rate of the Black Stork population.

Location - describe the location of the project in relation to region, State, closest river, catchment/watershed area and closest city. Provide a map.

Implemented in the Spreewald Biosphere Reserve the project is located in Germany, in the Federal state of Brandenburg, situated about 100 km southeast from Berlin. The nearest cities are Lübben and Lübbenau, which are the centers of the traditional tourism region Spreewald. Both cities are basic-points for numerous hiking and cycling trails and the beginning of traditional waterways straight through the wetland areas.

The Spreewald region is a unique Pleistocene lowlanded landscape, marked by mires and crossed by numerous small streams with a total length of 1,450 km (901 miles). As part of the catchment of the river Spree the Spreewald is situated in the middle potion of the river course.

The 26 ha planned to be  purchased is mainly located between the cities Lübben and Lübbenau.

See enclosed maps!

Issue - describe the main issue/s that the project addresses.

The Black Stork is one of the most endangered bird species in Germany, and the lead species to develop the inner Spreewald. It requires an intact habitat of forest for breeding and nutritive waters with fish for feeding.

With currently 5-6 breeding pairs the Spreewald constitutes the last reproduction area for the Black Stork within southern Brandenburg.

The Black Stork finds its prey (fish, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians) striding mostly through streams and stagnant waters and, less frequently, in fallows and meadows. Commonly their feeding areas overlapped with their breeding areas. Now the feeding areas are situated up to 12 kilometers away from their nests. Therefore finding food requires more effort from the Black Stork.

Currently they can be observed hunting for their prey in the marshy fields south-east of Lübben. The black Stork particularly frequents the “Polder Kockrowsberg” and to a lesser extent the “Kleine Gehege”. The fishponds near Schlepzig have largely lost their importance due to constant Cormorant hunting and due to being a recreation area for many people.

We are faced with the problem that there was only a success rate of 177 broods within the research period of 1953 – 2004. There were 135 successful broods with 345 chicks that have matured and left the nest.

During the above mentioned period the brood success rate was 1.94 chicks per nesting pair, or 2.57 chicks per successfully completed brood. These rates are significantly lower then the ones in Lower Saxony and Austria with 2.36 and 2.86 respectively.

Another worrying factor is that since 1990 approx. 40% of broods are without success! Since there are hardly any disturbances during nesting, the problem can only be explained by lack of food.

Scale - describe the project size in relation to the size of the issue within the catchment/watershed.

The total area of  wet meadows in the Biosphere Reserve is about 4000 ha ( 9880 acres; 15.4 square miles).

With your support we are going to purchase 26 ha of 500 ha suitable wetland. We will have a total area of 126 ha intact wetland, including the area which has already been bought by the NABU (German NGO for conservation).

Skills - describe the technical expertise you will engage in the project.

The purchases will be transacted by a notary.

Funding -list the amount of sponsorship sought and identify other funding sources/potential funding sources for the project.

The total cost of the Project will be approximate 41 000 €.

11 000 € will be paid by the NABU, the rest of 30 000 € will be sought from Banrock Station Wines.

Performance - identify project performance indicators for empowerment, implementation and wetland condition. Refer to the Project Performance file accompanying this document and use it as a guide.

Empowerment - describe how you will involve people in the project.

The ecological dams which are going to be constructed in the watercourses can be studied by tourists. As well storks looking for food can be observed from a nearby observation tower.

Empowerment - describe how you will promote the project.

There will be publications in the regional press, radio and regional TV. Moreover a slide presentation about Black Storks is planned.

Empowerment - describe how you will promote Banrock Station Wines.

The marketing supports for a commercial program are variously:

• Presenting advertising material in tourist information centres of the Biosphere Reserve
• Reference to the cooperation with Banrock in publications of the Biosphere Reserve
• Advertisements in the paper of the Biosphere Reserve  “ADEBAR” ”(edition 30,000 per year)
• Selling of Banrock wines in visitor information centres
• Offering Banrock wines at official occasions of the Biosphere Reserve
• Offering Banrock wines on nature experience tours with catering in agreement with the catering service

A possible project can be the integration of two additional Biosphere Reserves, eleven nature parks and the national park in Brandenbourg and the promotion of Banrock wines in the information centres.

Furthermore all 14 Biosphere Reserves in Germany could get integrated in the promotion with help of the standing working-team of leaders of the German BR´s.

Implementation - describe the activities you will carry out in the following table

See below

Wetland condition  - describe the anticipated changes in the condition of the wetland.

Rising the water-level means that the areas remain wet until at least mid-summer.

Supporting information - provide any relevant additional information to support your proposal.

Various local organizations have reacted favorably to the project. We have received letters from:

County Administration of the County Dahme – Spreewald
Spreewald Tourist Association
Tourist Association of  the City of Lübben
Naturwacht Spreewald (Ranger organization)
Landesumweltamt Brandenburg

Project Proposals…

- describe the project activities and costs in the table format below. Some activity headings may not be relevant.