Connecting habitats, tying networks of life

Unspoilt wilderness can hardly be found any longer in this country. On the contrary: For the benefit of agriculture, settlements, streets and railway lines, ever more nature is disappearing. Thus, wild animals increasingly live in confined areas. And looking for new habitat structures has almost become impossible for them. Large cleared areas do not offer shy animals such as the wildcat and the lynx the necessary cover. Red deer, badgers, etc. are also threatened. Every year thousands of wild animals lose their lives when crossing very busy roads.

Beech forest with sunbeams:

Nowadays, habitats suitable for wild animals are mostly very isolated from each other. The remaining populations of some wild animal species have therefore become so small and so far separated from one another that their survival, and with it biological diversity as a whole, is at stake. 

Target species wildcat

The BUND puts great effort into the conservation of biological diversity within Germany and Europe. For this, the linking up of habitat structures is an important element. Biotope networking is guided by the demands of particular endangered species, particularly their habitat and living requirements. One of these target species is the wildcat. Many people do not know that these animals are living hidden in our woodlands because hardly anyone ever gets to see these extremely shy forest cats. By the way, wildcats are no wild domestic cats, but represent a species of their own.

wildcat behind branches, © Thomas Stephan

Already in the 1990s BUND activists in Thuringia started to explore the migration habits of wildcats. The idea emerged to tie a safety net for the wildcat together with politicians, authorities and citizens. A green network of life made up of bushes and trees for the wildcat and other forest inhabitants shall stretch across Germany. In 2007 the BUND presented the wildcat routing map to the public for the first time. In autumn of that year the first 20,000 bushes and trees were planted between the national park Hainich and the Thuringian Forest.

The information campaign has started

To continue the successes of the safety net, an extensive information campaign started on January 1, 2010. With exhibitions, adventure trails, planting days, on site visits for decision-makers and many other things it aims to show how important the networking of habitat structures is for the preservation of biological diversity. The project “Biotope Networking – Networks of Life” is promoted by EU funds as part of the LIFE+ programme. LIFE is a financing instrument of the European Union which financially supports measures within the EU benefitting nature and the environment. It contributes to the development, execution and updating of the environmental policy and the environmental regulations of the Community.

The legal basis for the green life network of the BUND is a binding EU directive adopted in 1992 by the European Community. The “habitats directive“ shall contribute to the conservation of natural habitats and wild living animals and plants. The member states have committed themselves to creating a European network of protected areas under the name “Natura 2000 network”; this will be home to valuable habitat structures and rare species.

You can also help establish this network of life. Support us with a donation or become active yourself.

Brochure "20,000 Kilometers of Mirgration Corridors. A Safety Net for the European Wildcat."

Brochure "20,000 Kilometers of Mirgration Corridors. A Safety Net for the European Wildcat.

Basic Information in English. For further information please contact 

download the brochure

Logo Life+ – EU funds as part of the LIFE+ programme

The project “Biotope Networking – Networks of Life” is promoted by EU funds as part of the LIFE+ programme.