Nesselröden Demonstration Site (Germany)The Nesselröden Demonstration Site is approx. 500 ha and is situated 15 km east of the university town of Göttingen.
The hilly landscape is mainly used for agriculture, but forest is abundant. Many farmers rent or own fields in the area and the most common crops are wheat, rape, small patches of meadows and maize. One part of the project area still has quite small fields, is well structured by margins, grassy paths and some shrubs, but is close to a forest. The second half of the area has larger fields and is less structured.
In 2004 the Conservation Biology Department at the University of Göttingen, and the NGO Biologische Schutzgemeinschaft e.V. started a large-scale partridge conservation across the whole district of Göttingen (about 1.000 km²), by optimizing the agri-environment scheme flower strips for partridges.
The demonstration site was included in the project and between 2007-2011 about 7% of all fields were turned into flower strips. As a result, the partridge population increased from 4 to 39 calling cocks within 3 years. Many of the flower strips went back into normal cultivation and the number of partridges is now at about 7 pairs.
Our goal is to repeat that experiment to demonstrate that the observed changes are directly connected with the amount of breeding habitat for partridges.
The population is quite stable in comparison to the rest of Lower Saxony, which halved during our study time. We want to increase population size by 30% mostly by introducing new breeding habitat (flower strips).
For further details, please contact:
Dr. Eckhard Gottschalk (Georg-August-University of Göttingen)
Phone: +49 551 395637
Useful links: www.rebhuhnschutzprojekt.de