Human Intervention (03:15)
People shape natural habitats to preserve species and landscapes. Lake Constance is one of the largest lakes in Europe; modern intensive farming threatens the food supply for birds. Water from the Alps feeds the Rhine fresh water. (Credits)
Studying Ornithology (04:47)
Peter Berthold tags birds with a ring so they can be identified later. Many species have disappeared from the area near Lake Constance. The number of birds in Germany has fallen by 65% in the past 50 years.
Creating a Natural Habitat (03:59)
Farmers and communities help Berthold transform a meadow into a biotope with a large pond and three islands. Heinz Sielmann and his foundation finance the project. Insects, amphibians, and birds return to the area; water buffalos feed on the grasses.
Affenberg, Salem (04:07)
White storks now form colony due to conservation efforts. Roland Hilgartner and his staff tag five-week-old chicks. Playing dead protects offspring from predators who react to movement.
Natural Nutrition (05:01)
Berthold feeds birds homegrown mealworms, grain, and nuts as a first-aid measure. With financial support from the Heinz Sielmann Foundation, Martin Kessler plants an orchard to promote a natural habitat with ample food for birds and other species.
Network of Biotopes (03:23)
Cultivated landscapes are hostile to wild species. Families with private land ask Berthold to create natural habitats. An overgrown mill pond could be transformed into a biotope by incorporating troughs of shallow water and flowering wetland areas.
Animal Volunteers (06:27)
Beavers build dams on former carp ponds, creating natural habitats utilized by fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Researchers intervene when necessary, building rafts for nesting locations. Black-headed gulls threaten the common tern's survival.
Rare Species (05:26)
Fewer fish are caught in Lake Constance. Brown trout require inflowing water of a certain level to spawn; rocks and obstacles interfere with annual migration. Experts remove a rock bed on the Goldach tributary and release young brown trout raised in a breeding tank.
New Pods (03:16)
Lake Constance now has over 36 biotopes. Berthold monitors whether birds are settling in the new habitats and mating.
Rescuing Bird Species (04:34)
Powered hang-gliders teach northern bald ibises from Austrian zoos about migratory patterns. Once the birds memorize the route over the Alps, they can perform the action without guidance. The European Union finances the Waldrapp Project.
Bird Habitats (06:11)
Berthold sets up nets at the Heinz Sielmann pond to monitor which species utilize the biotope. The reed warbler, willow warbler, and yellowhammer return. Half of all bird species that have disappeared from the region may return.
Credits: Lake Constance: Rescuing the Bird Life—Paradise Preserved (00:42)
Credits: Lake Constance: Rescuing the Bird Life—Paradise Preserved
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