If you love nature then you’ll love the Wildlife in Lungau, especially f you’re in the company of Werner, a retired school headmaster and one hundred percent Lungauer, investing all his time and energy into conserving the region’s flower meadows, hedgerows and wooden fencing. Why? Because Werner is a passionate bird lover.
Wildlife in Lungau
Lungau’s fields are incredibly pretty – filled with wild flowers of every description. They’re so pretty, in fact, that some of our visitors think the fields have been planted just for them! But no, it’s not for the tourists or for making flower bouquets. Lungau’s fields are pretty because the people here are passionate about preserving a sustainable, and sometimes old fashioned, approach to agriculture.
Lungau has always been a bit behind times (so much so that these days we’re trendy again!). Historically the meadows here were only mown once, which meant we were (and are still) an Eldorado for wild flowers, herbs and all the lovely creepy crawlies that feed off and live in them.
Just as mother nature intended, Lungau’s wild flowers are all part of the food chain and thousands of different types of bird, including numerous rare species, thrive in the natural habitat of hedgerows and long grass. A good example is the “Braunkelchen” (Whinchat), which was at one time almost extinct. There are now over 160 breeding pairs in St Michael’s riverside meadows.
Werner’s dedication, along with the help of UNESCO, Lungau’s status as a Biosphere Reserve, and some other, complicated EU agricultural grants, means that 104 of Lungau’s farmers don’t begin mowing until the end of June. They appreciate our paradise and wildlife in Lungau as much as the rest of us. That leaves another 396 farmers in the region, whom we must convince to do the same.
And before I finish, let me just mention the bees. Can you believe that someone actually brings our bees over from the other side of the mountain to spend the summer with us? It’s true: our bees are actually from Carinthia and they come over in their little travelling hives! The proof is in the photos…
We’re so lucky to be able to live in this beautiful, unspoiled corner of the world – it takes a lot of beating. Why not come and see, smell, hear and taste it all for yourselves? The summer months are truly some of Lungau’s most beautiful 🙂
Salzburger Lungau & Kärntner Nockberge Biosphere Reserve
Werner is one small human cog in the wheel that has helped Lungau achieve UNESCO Biosphere status, officially called The Salzburger Lungau & Kärntner Nockberge Biosphere Reserve.
According to UNESCO, the reserve “…provides a representative example of inner-alpine landscapes with high mountains and deep valleys. It is a richly structured landscape ranging from 600 m to 3,000 m above sea level and encompasses typical ecosystems of the Central Alps such as mountain meadows and marshes with great biodiversity. The human inhabitants have profited from this biodiversity for millennia, currently primarily in the form of ecotourism.”
Thanks to achieving Biosphere status, the wildlife in Lungau is assured a safe future!