Hills and Terraces of the Southern Burgenland

This area corresponds to the Landscape Protection Area “Hills and Terraces of the Southern Burgenland“ designated in 1974, plus the lower course of the River Strem down to the state border. The “Nature Park in the Weinidylle“,(Weinidylle is the name of an idyllic wine producing area) covers the south-eastern half of the area. At the southern end it directly borders on the Landscape Protection Area ”Kellerviertel Heiligenbrunn“, an area with old wine cellars.

About 20 rural communities have their share of the Natura 2000 Area with several individual landscapes between the rivers Pinka and Strem that are, however, typical of the southern Burgenland: Pinkadurchbruch, Eisenberg, Tschaterberg, Ehrensdorfer Platte tableland, Punitzer Forest, Pinka valley and lower Strem valley. The current state of the woodland areas in the pSCI is comparable to that in the north-eastern Leithagebirge Mountains and in the area Bernstein-Lockenhaus-Rechnitz. Whereever stands have not been converted into Pine-, Locust- oder Spruce forests, they are characterized by natural and, as far as species composition is concerned, mostly complete forest biocenoses in spite of relatively short rotation periods and broadly used clear cutting practices . Current forest economy developments focus on extensification of wood utilization particularly in firewood forests so that short term and medium term forest management does not result in any substantial danger for the forest ecosystems. Although the current state of the forest areas can be preserved to a great part with the help of the forestry laws and support programmes or the prohibition of producing any deterioration respectively, an improvement of the preservation status should be aimed at from a nature conservation point of view. Among the most urgent priority measures in nature-like forest stands are natural rejuvenation of autochtone tree species, conversion of low-forest management to medium- and high-forest management as well as a tolerant attitude towards standing old-wood and deadwood. Changes in tree species composition should generally aim at the creation of site-adjusted and autochtone woodlands.
weide_fialaRock sites and primary dry grasslands near the Pinka-durchbruch are not threatened at the moment. Xerophilic variants of mowed dry grassland communities can occasionally be found on slopes exposed to the south. The wet meadows particlarly along the river Strem, which are rich in species and diversified, as well as the Orchard meadows in the Pinka valley, Eisen- and Tschaterberg also belong to the high–priority protected features in that area. As in the entire southern Burgenland, utili-zation of hay meadows has been difficult to maintain despite agricultural subsidies within the ÖPUL, the Austrian Agri-environmental Programmes, and within the cultural landscape programme. There is one general trend in the entire area: Due to a decline in cattle farming the interest in meadow management is decreasing sharply. A favourable preservation status of grassland areas depends upon agri-economical and basic social conditions that guarantee continuation of meadows and pasture utilization.

Protected Features:
suedburgenlaendisches_huegel_und_terrassenlandSimilar to the Natura2000-Area Bernstein-Lockenhaus-Rechnitz the far-reaching landscape conservation area comprises a great number of Council Directive-relevant habitats which mainly cover very small spaces, often far apart, compared with the total size of the area covering 14,294 hectare. The meadows in the valleys partly corrrespond to the type 6510 Lowland hay meadows; in the forests, the following habitat types can be found: 91G0 * Pannonic woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus, 9180 * Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines, 91E0 * Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae), 9130 Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests and 9110 Luzulo-Fagetum beech forests (Luzulo-Fagetum).

Several bat species appreciate the favourable living conditions in the rolling hills and tableland of the southern Burgenland and belong to the potected species. Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), Lesser Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis blythii), Greater Mouse-Eared Bat (Myotis myotis), Bechstein’s Bat (Myotis bechsteini) and Barbastelle Bat (Barbastella barbastellus). Among the protected features of the running waters are the European Otter (Lutra lutra), the Schrätzer (Gymnocephalus schraetzer), the thick shelled river mussel (Unio crassus) as well as the two dragon-fly species the Green Club-Tailed Dragonfly (Ophiogomphus cecilia) and the Ornate Bluet (Coenagrion ornatum).wiese_hoettinger
In the forests, the Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the Great Capricorn Beetle (Cerambyx cerdo) occur as well as the Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) among the plants. The still existing meadows in the valleys are habitat for the two blue butterflies, the Dusky Large Blue (Maculinea nausithous) and the Scarce Large Blue Butterfly (Maculinea teleius).