Restoration of avian populations by facilitating insect communities: benefit for business and nature - Netherlands
Why is this project needed?
• Evaluate the role of different plant communities, including such of non-native invasive plants as habitat for large insects and birds.
• Develop habitat management recommendations and training for the ENCI staff, to improve the ecological restoration works on the quarry.
Principle activities• Analyse the food preferences and hunting behaviour of the Red backed shrike in similar sites in the province of Limburg.
• Collect samples and analyse the abundance and diversity of insects at and around the ENCI quarry and compare with control sites, specifically targeted to the above objectives.
• Determination of soil characteristics in relationship with suitable conditions for insect larvae.
• Measure the nutritional contribution of the Butterfly bush to the insect communities at the ENCI quarry site.
• Develop strategies to control invasive Butterfly bush, without causing population declines of (rare) local fauna that may have become nutritionally depended on this bush.
The future manager of the ENCI site Natuurmonumenten is interested to receive and manage an ecologically balanced area. A functioning ecosystem with all its representative species is the target for the ENCI transformation, agreed among the key stakeholders in the city of Maastricht. Habitat improvements will be performed in nature areas owned by Natuurmonumenten and open to the public for their enjoyment.
Benefits to the public also stem from a reduction in the spread of invasive alien species which are an important driver for the extinction of local species, with implications on biodiversity and the health of ecosystems.
However, in case of the Butterfly bush, many species also benefit from this plant as it represents an important nectar source, visited by rare and protected insect species, such as Euplagia quadripunctaria. People usually like Butterfly bushes (as they plant them a lot in their gardens) and Butterfly bush control can best be explained to the general public when underpinned with actual data about its effect on the ecosystem.