“We are Betty Bullhead, William Wood-Grouse, Theresa Toad and Stanislaus Stone-Crayfish. We all live in the Ausseer region where we feel very much at home. Almost no other region of Austria has as many different habitats such as moors, lakes, streams, mountains and forests in such a small area. As a result, this region is a biodiversity hotspot and as such enjoys protected status. There are a total of five Natura 2000 sites here. Natura 2000 is a network of protected habitats, which enjoys special status not just in Austria but throughout Europe. The aim of these European protected areas is to ensure the survival of many rare and valuable habitats as well as individual species of flora and fauna, including us!”
There are five Natura 2000 areas in the Ausseer region covering roughly 32,310 hectares. They are all located on land managed by the Austrian Federal Forests, which manages and cultivates these conservation areas with the greatest of care. As part of the LIFE+ project Ausseerland more than 5.7 million euros are being invested to improve the habitants of endangered species that need protecting. Half this amount is being provided by the European Union using LIFE+ funds. The other half is being funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW), the province of Styria and the Austrian Federal Forests, which manage and implement the project.