LIFE-Projekt „Grünlandentwicklung zum Schutz gefährdeter Wiesenvögel im EU-Vogelschutzgebiete Unterer Niederrhein”
Ministerium fü Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
European Commission - Environment - LIFE Programme
Natura 2000 network - Environment - European Commission

Meadow birds

Black-tailed Godwit (Foto: D.Doer)

Meadow birds are species which (as the name implies) are found especially on grasslands. They need these areas for breeding and rearing their young but also find important resting opportunities here in the autumn and winter months. Meadow birds are therefore not grouped based on their relatedness but on their similar ecological requirements.

Flying Black-tailed Godwit (Foto: D. Cerff)Common Snipe (Foto: R. Schmitz)Meadow birds can be divided into three groups:

  1. Species which depend on grasslands as breeding and general habitat
  2. Species which depend on grasslands for foraging during the breeding season, but do not breed here
  3. Species which depend on grasslands for foraging in the winter as well as along their migratory routes.

As part of the bird protection area ‘lower Niederrhein’ the grasslands of the Düffel form part of one of the most important meadow bird habitats of the Niederrhein. The rarity of many meadow bird species account for the great responsibility North Rhine-Westphalia has for their protection. To maintain, stabilise and where possible even increase the last occurring populations of meadow birds, the LIFE-project was initiated. NRW is aware of its responsibility and supports the project. The EU provides monetary support from the LIFE-fund for the preservation of species of value in the conservation area NATURA 2000.

Northern Lapwing female with her chicks (Foto: Thorsten Krüger)

Important species of focus of this LIFE-project which are particularly affected by the structural changes of the landscape include the black-tailed godwit, redshank, snipe, curlew as well as corn rake, lapwing, meadow pipit, field lark and yellow wagtail.

This meadow bird project aims to counteract the negative developments to ensure that in the future we can continue to admire the glowing red legs of the redshank, hear the snarling call of the meadow pipit or see godwits wading through meadows more often.