• Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland
  • Naturschutzbund Burgenland

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Riverside Meadows Zickenbachtal

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The “European Conservation Area Riverside Meadows Zickenbachtal“ is situated about 5 km south of Stegersbach and 12 km north-west of Güssing. The brook Zickenbach flows from north-west to south-east through that area and runs into the brook Strem at Güssing. This area of approximately 40 ha is one of the most beautiful wetland landscapes of the Southern Burgenland. Seen as a whole, it can be regarded as a riverside inundation fen. Spring moors, however, have developed at water outlets on a small scale. Peat formation is caused by a constantly high groundwater level with low range of variation and inundations with impurity water.

Vegetation is characterized by a rich mosaic pattern of fresh to wet meadows, fallow meadows, sedge reeds, canes and Grey Willow bushes. Along the brook, White Willow stands can be found. Due to use cessation, part of these ares have developed into dominant stands of the Giant Golden Rod (Solidago gigantea). At a few sites, fragments of lowland bogs with Creeping Willow (Salix repens) and Common Cotton Grass (Eriophorum angustifolium) have been preserved. Remaining stands of the Yellow Water Lily (Nuphar lutea) can still be found. The mown meadows in the area are Ornamental Thistle wetland meadows, a widely common meadow type in the Southern Burgenland.
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Birdlife is characterized by an enourmous variety of species. Originally the species of the wetland meadows and of the reed grasslands were typical of this area. (Montague’s Harrier, Sedge Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Whinchat). In the course of habitat changes, these species are, however, decreasing or stagnating. Bushland amd forest species meet more and more favourable conditions because of increasing succession and are therefore spreading (blackcap, tits, woodpeckers). At least in some years quail and cornkrake find an appropriate habitat here. Furthermore, the area is of importance for providing food for storks and migrating birds of prey.
Protected Features:

For the White stork (Ciconia ciconia) listed in Annex I of Council Directive 79/409/EEC the area is important to provide food for breeding pairs from the surrounding villages as well as those passing through.
auwiesen_zickenbachtalBefore all, this area is particularly relevant for two species among those migrant birds to be preserved pursuant to article 4 paragraph 2 of the Council Directive 79/409/EEC: The River Warbler (Locustella fluviatilis) is a characteristic species of the meadows in the valleys of the southern Burgenland that were used extensively once and are now overgrown with bushes and reeds. Here the Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), an indicator species for extensively managed greenland and pastures in moist to fresh sites, has one of its few occurrences in Austrian lowland areas, as this species profits from grazing.

Birdlife is characterized by an enourmous variety of species. Originally the species of the wetland meadows and of the reed grasslands were typical of this area. (Montague’s Harrier, Sedge Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Whinchat). In the course of habitat changes, these species are, however, decreasing or stagnating. Bushland amd forest species meet more and more favourable conditions because of increasing succession and are therefore spreading (blackcap, tits, woodpeckers). At least in some years quail and cornkrake find an appropriate habitat here. Furthermore, the area is of importance for providing food for storks and migrating birds of prey.