An estimated 400 cattle barriers in the state of Salzburg can become “death traps” for amphibians. However, this can be prevented with ramps made of perforated metal sheets. A committed conservationist has started a project with the support of the Naturschutzbund.
The pits under cattle barriers on forest and alpine paths can be fatal for amphibians and other small creatures: if they fall in, they often cannot come out. Because so that the animals can escape from a pit, a drain pipe with a diameter of at least 20 centimeters is necessary. But not that many, especially older pits of cattle barriers.
In the state of Salzburg, an estimated 400 grazing grids or other shafts are such death traps, says Willi Schwarzenbacher, a doctor and nature conservation activist who lives in Elsbethen (Flachgau): “Amphibians, but also reptiles such as blindworms or smaller rodents, can then enter and starve to death have no way of getting out. “
Stainless steel ramp as a way out of pits
But the remedy is simple: A perforated stainless steel sheet is installed in the pits of the grazing grids as a ramp, so to speak. Schwarzenbacher emphasizes that this is not a major effort: “You cut the perforated sheets to the correct length. So you can thread them well. Because they are only attached to the substructure with a wire – and that’s it. “
Despite the manageable effort, such climbing aids for small animals from cattle barrier pits in Salzburg have not been an issue for years – even if, for example, they have been in this direction in Tyrol since 2012. That is why he campaigned for this together with the nature conservation association and Pinzgau biotope protectors, says Willi Schwarzenbacher.
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Federal forests, national park, land during action on board
In the spring of this year, Schwarzenbacher and his supporters started a project in Bramberg – with initial support from the discount store Hofer and the fruit juice manufacturer Spitz. In the meantime, the Federal Forests would also install such perforated sheets in their cattle barriers. The Hohe Tauern National Park is also on board for the campaign. And the nature conservation of the state of Salzburg has made available 40,000 euros in funding to buy sheet metal, says Schwarzenbacher.
Road cooperatives or goods road owners who want to install perforated sheet metal ramps can contact some offices, adds Willi Schwarzenbacher: “All they really need to do is contact me, the nature conservation association or the state, the nature conservation department. They pass this on to me – and I bring the climbing aids over. “