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#05/2020 EXPANSION OF EXISTING OPEN AREAS AND DEVELOPMENT OF DRY SAND HEATH
Habitat for the sand lizard in the nature reserve ‘Thielenbruch und Thurner Wald’

The measures in the nature reserve ‘Thielenbruch und Thurner Wald’ shall benefit the sand lizard, among others.

The measures in the nature reserve ‘Thielenbruch und Thurner Wald’ shall benefit the sand lizard, among others. © Walter Halfenberg, NABU-Naturschutzstation Leverkusen – Köln

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The nature reserve ‘Thielenbruch und Thurner Wald’ is located east of the Rhine in the district Cologne-Dellbrück on the border to Bergisch Gladbach. The predominantly wet nature reserve is located in the physical region of the ‘Bergische Heideterrasse’ and comprises a mosaic of fens, ponds, sedge reeds, alder forests and dune areas. In the drier areas, there are oak and birch populations. The 59 hectare area was designated a nature reserve in 1969. Together with parts of the nature reserve ‘Thielenbruch’ on the territory of the City of Bergisch Gladbach, it is registered in the Natura 2000 network of the European Union as the Special Area of Conservation ‘Thielenbruch’. Due to the small-scale alternation of acidic and calcareous areas, it has a particular diversity of sites. In addition to rare plants, the area offers habitat especially for many dragonfly species, including the Southern damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale) which is rare in North Rhine-Westphalia. The area is one of the most important sites for C. mercuriale in the federal state, as it is the last known primary site in North Rhine-Westphalia (see Buchwald 1989, AK Libellen 2013, quoted according to Menke 2019).

Electricity and gas lines run through this area. The power line had been heavily overgrown with bushes in the meantime. Although the gas lines were mowed regularly, bushes had developed in some areas between the parallel gas lines, which the operator did not have to cut. This offered the opportunity to expand existing open areas in cooperation with the operating company and to develop them with a nature conservation objective. The corresponding clearing works on the electricity and gas lines were carried out on an area of about 1.5 hectares in February 2020. Furthermore, a directly adjacent inland dune was extended. These measures are intended to create new areas for the habitat type 2310 (dry sand heaths with Calluna and Genista). At the same time, habitat for the sand lizard and other endangered species of the dry sand heaths will be optimised. The cleared lines can serve as stepping stones between the existing open areas.

The gas lines running through the area were covered with trees and ferns

The gas lines running through the area were covered with trees and ferns © Walter Halfenberg, NABU-Naturschutzstation Leverkusen-Köln

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