Main Event 2014
On 14 June, the 16th GEO Biodiversity Day took place in Ebern-Unterpreppach. In the Bavarian town of Ebern, about 80 wildlife experts explored animals and plants on a military training ground that has been out of use since 2002. They documented an amazing variety of wildlife – around 1,500 different species were collected and identified by the scientists in the course of 24 hours in an area measuring less than three square kilometres.
BIG BUG DISCOVERIES!
A spectacular highlight was achieved this year by Markus Bräu, a scientist from Munich who specialises in bugs. By discovering the bug Jalla Dumosa on the former military training ground, he managed to prove the existence of an animal that for decades had been considered extinct in Bavaria. Ringo Dietze, a colleague from Saxony, equally returned with great news. Not only could he confirm recent evidence of the existence of the bug Excentricus planicornis in this area, a bug that has no other known habitat in the whole of Germany, but he was also able to prove that this extremely rare animal has established a very healthy population in Ebern. The beetle experts were successful too – they managed to find around 150 species, proving that the area under study was particularly valuable. Fortunately, their discoveries included specimens of extremely endangered species. Chlaenius tristis, for instance, a species of ground beetle that can create an air bubble around its body in order to move from solid ground into water, had not been spotted in Bavaria for thirty-five years - until Michael Fritze found it on the military training ground in Ebern. Another discovery of a beetle species thrilled the experts who had travelled to the site: Anthaxia candens, included on the Red List of endangered animals in Germany, seems to be at home in Ebern.