October 3, 2023

Anklamer Stadtbruch: Creatures of the Wild Night

Change ports in the swamp

The path gets narrower and narrower, sometimes it’s just a narrow path cut once a year with a brushcutter. It leads the beaver’s freshly cut trees to a lookout platform at the edge of the almost endless reed bed, which is an important habitat for bearded tits, reed bunting, various species of reed birds, marsh jays, and petrels.

The area reveals its full potential, especially in terms of reed beds, forests and water bodies: “At over 1,000 hectares, the wilderness area is large enough for the dynamics of nature to develop freely here,” says Schuel. Depending on the water level, parts of the bog become wetter or drier over the years. The forest will expand or contract accordingly. In the transition zones, a mosaic of different structures is created, where reeds, dead trees, thin and closed forests alternate. This skeletal richness has already led to remarkable evolutions for some rare species: “The curvature occurs in the very densely populated area,” Schweil says. This bird, which belongs to the woodpecker family and prefers to feed on ants, is listed as “vulnerable” on the Red List. There are no longer 10,000 breeding pairs in Germany. In fact, the Wryneck is a typical resident of parks, orchards, large gardens, viti-growing areas, and other cultural landscapes. “To see him now finding his niche in undisciplined nature is special,” says Stefan Schuel.

The large copper butterfly also develops wonderfully at the Anklamer Stadtbruch. The bright orange-winged species is listed as “endangered” on the German Red List and also by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Insects prefer to live in moist, high-maintenance meadows. In the wild area’s mosaic of habitats, ideal living conditions have now been created for rare butterflies without any human intervention. This is one of the important functions that large wilderness areas have. It is spacious and dynamic enough to create new and ever-changing domains:

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After turning into the reeds, it returns to the lake on the dam. The white-tailed eagle is no longer in the water. On the other hand, a griffin can be seen perching on a large bird on a sandbank. He probably managed to get out of the water with his prey after all. Perhaps in Stadtbruch’s unpredictable nature, one other species had an unexpectedly successful day today.