The Via Claudia Augusta Habitat Network and Wildlife Corridor project ran from 2010 to 2012, with the Tyrolean Environmental Ombudsman as the lead partner and Mag. Viktoria Ennemoser as project director. With the help of various experts, the project team were able to analyse numerous locations which lack a stepping stone biotope or form a barrier in some other way. A prioritised list of about a hundred proposals for creating stepping stones and connecting habitats was drawn up with reference to certain indicator species or groups of species including the amphibians, beaver (Castor fiber), bullhead (Cottus gobio), field cricket (Gryllus campestris), Dusky Large Blue butterfly (Phengaris nausithous), Greater Horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and red deer (Cervus elaphus).
From the list, just under fifty measures of particular natural interest were selected and placed in order of priority in terms of importance and practicability. The final planning for the implementation of three of the measures has been completed and the implementation phase has now begun:
Amphibian tunnel in the Upper Inn Valley between Serfaus and Pfunds
The culvert for the Marchtalbach under the B180 Reschen highway on the boundary between Serfaus and Pfunds is being adapted to permit amphibian passage under this busy road. The measure will connect the wooded slopes to the west of the highway with the wetlands on the banks of the Inn and thus link the spawning waters on either side of the road. more >>
Spawning waters in the Gurgl Valley
The area around the Strad medicinal spring in Tarrenz is the habitat of one of the few populations of the yellow-bellied toad. Measures are being promoted to create and rehabilitate spawning waters for this endangered species. more >>
Fish pass for the Grundbach
The Grundbach is one of the main streams feeding into the Heiterwanger See. On the approach to the lake there is a drop in the stream bed, which forms an obstacle to the passage of fish. The drop is to be modified to create a fish pass providing access to a connected fish habitat in the stream over a distance of about 10 km. The mouth of the stream flowing into the lake is to be renatured to form a diverse habitat..
Project partners: Naturpark Kaunergrat; Landschaftspflegeverein Gurgltal; Naturschutzgebiet Ehrwalder Becken; Naturpark Tiroler Lech
Links to other interesting habitat networking initiatives:
The Pan-European Ecological Network
Ökologisches Kontinuum (ALPPARC, CIPRA, ISCAR und WWF)
Econnect - Restoring the web of life
Ursina - der Bär im rätischen Dreieck (WWF Schweiz)