The network NATURA 2000, which contains protected areas of the EU Birds Directive and the Flora Fauna Habitat Protection Areas (FFH), is of great importance due to its special abundance of animals, plants and habitat types. Through this network, nature is long term protected and the dramatic decline in biological diversity and species is stopped.
Bordering the Oderdike are the FFH area “Oderaue Kienitz” and the bird protection area “Middle Oderniederung” with the “Sophienthaler Polder” and its “Darnberg”. On the other side of the river there are the Dolina Odra area and the Dolina Dolne Dolmen area. Here there are no flood protection dikes, the floodplain area follows the natural rhythm of the river. Impressive is the natural dune “Monte Casino”.
On either bank of the Oder, softwood forests are growing, with pastures and black poplars, but also the hardwood forests with flutterulm and common oak dominate the landscape. The meadows contain species-rich altitudes and small waters. In the spring, over the vastness of the Oderaue, concerts of the red-bell-peaks, as well as pond- and sea-frogs, are heard. Sometimes even the tree frog – threatened with extinction – can be heard. Beavers and otters have their territories here.
The “Oderaue Kienitz” is important as a resting, wintering and meeting area for the international bird migration. It is directly connected with the Polish National Park “Ujście Warty” (Warthebruch) near Kostrzyn about 20 km away. In winter, Bean and Gray Goose, Tufted Ducks, Scaup Ducks, Mallards, Common Goldeneye and Common Cranes dominate. Later in the year White and Black Stork, Black and Common Tern, Ruff, Common Snipe, Great Brackenbird, Oystercatcher as well as Common Sandpiper can be observed, Sea Eagle and Fish Eagle can be seen hunting. The protected areas in the Kienitz area are extremely important in the biologically impoverished agricultural landscape due to their above-average biological diversity.
These sensitive areas are part of the NATURA 2000 network and have long since been confirmed by the EU. It is now up to the authorities, municipalities, owners and citizens to implement the protection targets.
Even though the NATURA-2000 network naturally includes strict protection zones, many areas depend on sustainable management by their owners. EU subsidies are therefore flowing into the area. If, however, the European conservation targets are not followed, the EU funding could become scarce in future. These are important financal resources of farmers, tourism operators and municipalities.
Naturerlebnishof Uferloos and the Federation for the Environment and Nature Protection Germany (BUND) Märkisch-Oderland work daily with issues of NATURA- 2000 and welcome this network very much!