Population structure and spatial distribution of the adder Vipera berus Linnaeus, 1758 in the Lech Valley are habitat connection measures feasible? Populationsstruktur und Raumnutzung der Kreuzotter Vipera berus L im Lechtal ist ein Biotopverbundsystem machbar?

Kaesewiester, D.; Baumann, N.; Voelkl, W.

Mertensiella 1 Dezember; 15: 213-220


Accession: 038557540

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The Lech Valley in southern Bavaria originally served as a "bridge" between adder populations in the Alps and the Swabian Jura. This connection is no longer functional due to the disappearance of virtually all adder populations in the Lech valley north of Augsburg. There are, however, still a number of adder populations'9buth of Augsburg which dwell mainly on the dikes of the Lech and in surrounding forests. An analysis of the age structure indicates that these populations are superannuated, probably due to a shortage of prey for neonates. Furthermore, the individual populations are separated by a number of barriers. Thus, a species protection plan should include the following measures: (I) The support of amphibian populations by building small ponds to enhance the prey density for neonates; (2) an increase of open areas in the densely grown riparian forests; (3) a management of richly structured forest edges; (4) a connection of different populations on a large scale. For this connection, the Lech dikes as continuous linear structures and electricity mains are the most suitable areas.