Nature reserves serve the special protection of nature and landscape for scientific, natural history, regional or cultural reasons. They were built to preserve, develop or restore communities or biotopes of certain animal and plant species. Nature reserves are also intended to protect plants and animals because of their rarity, special characteristics or outstanding beauty. (see § 17 State Nature Conservation Act - LNatSchG)

Lean and dry locations

Many different animals and plants exist in nutrient-poor ("lean") and dry locations. They often dominate extensive landscapes, for example limestone grasslands or juniper heaths. Today these habitats are protected and are among the most species-rich communities in Central Europe with many endangered animals and plants.

The species present are light, warm and drought-loving. Orchids in particular feel at home in these locations and also attract many butterflies, wild bees and grasshoppers. These in turn are food for reptiles such as sand lizards or birds such as red-backed shrikes, which can also be found in poor locations. Poor grasslands are often the result of centuries of extensive cultivation as traditional culrut landscapes. They were not fertilized and were usually only mowed once a year in late summer or grazed with sheep or goats. Today, poor grassland needs care; Without them they would become overgrown and the species communities would be lost.

Waters, wetlands and moors

Low mountain ranges are naturally rich in streams and springs and poor in lakes and stagnant water. In the Volcanic Eifel, volcanism has also created something special ecologically with the maars: maars generally have no inflow or outflow, are fed by groundwater and form their own ecosystem. After their formation, they are deeper than other natural lakes (the Pulvermaar is still 74 meters deep today). Over time, the maars silt up to form moors like the Mürmes. Distinctive swamp and silt zones are particularly valuable ecologically as a transition between water and land and offer a habitat for many species.

 Geological significance

The diversity, uniqueness and beauty of nature and the landscape can be enough to place certain parts of the landscape under protection. From a legal point of view, geological features are not sufficient to qualify for protection. Nevertheless, in the legal regulations of many nature reserves in the Vulkaneifel, their geological significance is also mentioned as a protective purpose.

Forest areas

Like most low mountain ranges, the Vulkaneifel is heavily forested; Rhineland-Palatinate is even the most forested federal state in Germany (in relation to area). Rhineland-Palatinate relies on stable mixed forests and manages them in a natural way. Tree species that are adapted to our climate and grow well on the soil are promoted. The diverse soil conditions have also given rise to a variety of different forest types.


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