Wild nature in the big city: why Berlin took the Rangers

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

In the German cities is becoming not only more people but also more wild animals. In the framework of the pilot project in Berlin appeared “Rangers of urban nature”

The home office, which is so fashionable now work “on remote”? Ornithologist Tony Becker (Becker Toni) and biologist Julia Kionka (Julia Kionka) prefer his usual working place in the middle of the wild nature of the big city. Today, for example, the district Stralau in the East of Berlin – an elongated Peninsula in the floodplain of the river spree, with one side overlooking the famous Treptower Park, and the other with the former industrial port district of Rummelsburg.

In recent years there appeared a Marina and residential complexes. It is quiet and lots of greenery – freedom not only for young families with young children, but also for animals. And a two-hour walk through the area accompanied by “Rangers urban nature” Julia Kionka and Tony Becker turns in a tour on the theme of biological diversity and ecology.

“Rangers” the big city

Berlin is considered one of the greenest capitals in Europe, almost a third of the city covered with greenery or water; the city has more than 20 thousand species. Experts sometimes call the big city “hot spots” of biological diversity.

In late may the Berlin government launched a two-year pilot project under which “Rangers urban nature” should help people better understand not only the diversity of flora and fauna, but also to realize their responsibility for its preservation. The project implements the city’s conservation Foundation (Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin), founded in 1981.

Two dozen Rangers with binoculars and cameras regularly go to all the 12 urban districts of Berlin. The number one task – the observation of urban nature. After all, Berlin is not only more humans but also animals. Here are experts this fact is not happy: animals and birds tend to metropolises is not a good life. Says Julia Kionka, due to the massive use of pesticides in agriculture for killing insects, broken food chain, and as a result animals in search of food move to where there is what to eat and where not so noisy.

This is one aspect that is common to all German cities. But there is another, special for Berlin. According to Toni Becker, a riot of the Berlin nature is partly due to its history. Along the Berlin wall, for many years dividing the city into Western and Eastern parts, there were many quiet deserted areas, which have become niches for wildlife. As a result, the town walks accompanied by a Ranger into a sort of “Safari”.

Big Five of the animal world Berlin

Like the African Big Five – the main representatives of Savannah in Berlin, too, could make the hit parade of animals that live in the city.

According to the Rangers, it would include wild boars, foxes, bats, Martens and all the birds of the city, taken together, enumerate which separately would take too much time. Berlin wild boars – a separate big topic. The city police Department from time to time reports of incidents involving these wild animals. The pack of wild boars regularly run across the road – sometimes the police patrols had to block because they street (the relevant videos appear in social networks), and sometimes wild boars cause an accident.

Last weekend, for example, ran out of the forest a herd of wild boars shot down the driver of the scooter – so much so that he was in the hospital. But there are outsiders, the so – called “invasive” species that turned up in Berlin not as a result of evolutionary processes, thanks to human irresponsibility. As an example, the Rangers lead the species of freshwater turtles, bought by someone once at the pet store, quickly bored and thrown into water, where they began to multiply.

A fine of 1,000 euros for the feeding of wild animals

Task number two is education. Worth the unsuspecting citizen to feed bread to wild swans as Tony Becker turns to him with a polite but very convincing speech about the dangers of outside interference in the food chain of aquatic and laws that prohibit feeding the animals.

“Often we are asked about the name of a particular bird. That is, people are not very interested in specific measures for the protection of nature, says Tony Becker. But we tell that animals need protected areas for habitat. And what animals are looking for these places especially in the beginning of the year. Sometimes you have laws to cite, but this is an extreme measure.”

By the way, according to German law, the fine for feeding wild animals can reach the sum of 1000 euros. But such penalties were discharged by the Rangers and office staff of the protection order. As they say Rangers, coronavirus pandemic spurred the interest of the inhabitants of Berlin to the city nature – free time was more, and opportunities to travel less, so everyone went in the forest zone, from which there was not only more people but also more garbage.

Mobile app for Ministry on the procedure

Therefore, the task number three “Rangers urban nature” – to keep order. Their smartphone has a mobile app that allows you to do this quickly and efficiently: simply upload a photo of the overflowing trash can indicating the location how the information will be in the municipal company for cleaning and recycling.

Such applications, by the way, establish on their smartphones and ordinary Berliners, who are not indifferent to the appearance of the city. The signals in the the Department of order received from them the most different – illegal exhibited just outside unnecessary furniture, disfigured by graffiti on walls or bridges, and sometimes just about the cars parked in the wrong place.

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

Дикая природа большого города: зачем Берлину понадобились рейнджеры

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