Main Event 2016
CONNECTING AREAS OF NATURE
The motto of the 18th GEO Biodiversity Day was “biotope networks” and was held in the heathland Wahner Heide located in the open natural space of Bergische Heideterrasse in Germany. This area, which stretches between the river Ruhr in the north and the river Sieg in the south, demonstrates that re-connecting natural habitats and preserving corridors of open space between nature conservation areas is one of the most pressing tasks in order to stop the loss of biodiversity.
Taking stock of nature in 24 hours, zoologists and botanists listed the animals and plants found in the area under examination. The discovery of two species of orchids new to this area created a surprise: the musk orchid, Herminium monorchis, was thought to be extinct in the region and is classed as highly endangered on the Red List of North Rhine-Westphalia. Fen orchids, Liparis loeselii, equally considered extinct in the region, were also rediscovered. Finally, the occurrence of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii was another new discovery for Wahner Heide.