Connecting habitats – tying networks of life

For the benefit of agriculture, settlements, streets and railway lines, ever more nature is disappearing in Germany. Wild animals, like the wildcat and the lynx live more and more in isolated areas. Red deer or badgers are also threatened. Every year thousands of wild animals lose their lives when crossing our roads.

Wild Cat, Picture: Thomas Stephan/BUND

Target Species Wildcat

The BUND puts great effort into the conservation of biodiversity. For this, the linking up of habitat structures is an element of crucial importance. Biotope networking is hereby guided by the demands of particular endangered species. One of these target species is the wildcat. Our ambitiuous goal: Green corridors made of bushes and trees shall link up Germany's forests once again, create a biotope network of 20,000 kilometres in length and allow the wildcat and other animals, to once again wander safely. But we cannot do this alone! To create this green network, we need a strong network of politicians, authorities, and citizens on our side.

By now, we finalised several green corridors and we are currently working on new ones. The legal basis for this green life network is a binding EU directive. The "habitats directive" shall contribute to the conservation of natural habitats and wild living animals and plants.

Expanding the habitat network – the Wildcat Leap

Logos BMU, BfN, Biodiversity Program

With support from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety six more green corridors will help to re-connect fragmented wildlife habitats towards our goal: a 20.000 kilometers wide network of forest biotopes for conservation of the wildcat and other woodland species.

This new joint undertaking has been named the Wildcat leap. It will also include extensive collection and examination of wildcat hair samples in order to monitor the population and the migration of the species. The DNA results will be gathered in the first German-wide DNA-based inventory of the wildcat.

Networks of Life – the Wildcat Information Campaign


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.

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