Acquisition of land forest “biotope Swabian Alps”

Project report Animal and environmental protection

Heinz Sielmann Stiftung: Acquisition of land forest “biotope Swabian Alps” 2022

picture: Heinz Sielmann Stiftung


Near-natural forests are threatened! In order to make a contribution to the protection of these vital ecosystems, the Heinz Sielmann Stiftung acquired a part of the near-natural and speciose forest at the castle Weißenstein in the past and thereby laid the foundation for Sielmann´s forest biotope Swabian Alps.


Here the forest can grow old – without pressure of use !

Mighty trees cling to rocky escarpments.  A visit in the Weißenstein forest leaves one amazed. One marvels at ancient and young trees that grow in competition. At dead trees that are home to many animals. The extreme slope has saved the forest in the past from being cut down for economic reasons. Here the trees are allowed to grow and grow old. Here the diversity of nature is at home.

picture: Heinz Sielmann Stiftung
Eagle owl (Bubo bubo) picture: Pixabay

Sielmanns forest biotope Swabian Alps expands.

In 2022 the one-time opportunity arose to acquire additional areas, compared to the stock areas with a total of around 50 hectares and thus permanently secure a big, valuable forest biotope as a habitat for numerous species such as peregrine falcons and eagle owls.

With the support of the foundation Wolfgang Bösche, the subarea Beutelsfelshalde 1 with 7,500.50 m² could be acquired, for which we sincerely thank those responsible from the foundation. The areas situated in the northeast are partially more exposed. Individual, striking rocks shape the scenery.

Here species such as the eagle owl and, at an appropriate distance, the peregrine falcon breed.Eagle owl (Bubo bubo) picture: Pixabay

Although the forest has been significantly thinned out, a forest ecosystem was able to develop here in a way that one scarcely finds it anymore. There are European beech, ash, maple and oak trees that are over a hundred years old. Dead trees are left in the forest and give new life as a home to many species.

Rare species of bats and woodpeckers find everything they need to live here. Individual rocks are ideal breeding sites for specie such as the peregrine falcon and the eagle owl which do not get in each other´s way due to the size of the area. Mushrooms, lichens and mosses thrive here as well as numerous rare plant species. In short: The Weißenstein forest is a true treasure trove of biodiversity. Not only that, but forests also have an invaluable influence on the climate.

Life in deadwood!

Deadwood is important for the biodiversity in the forest. Near-natural, old and unused forests provide the source of life for countless animals and plants, including numerous rare and endangered species that cannot find a habitat elsewhere. In more intensely used commercial forests on the other hand living space is becoming scarce. The aim here is to cut down healthy trees before they develop ecologically important but economically harmful structures – tree cavities, replacement crowns, dead wood and other structures are rarer in such stands.

picture: Heinz Sielmann Stiftung

The Weißenstein forest will develop into a true treasure trove of biodiversity. Not only that, but forests likewise have an invaluable influence on the climate.

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