D. Monitoring of the impact of the project actions

D1 Monitoring to control the efficiency of measures C.1, C.2 and C.8

To evaluate the success of the LIFE project external professionals will monitor the conducted measures. In D1, the actions C.1, C.2 and C.8 will be analysed. Therefore, they will establish 20 permanent trial plots in the Rhön and further conduct a vegetation survey on the grassland according to the “Londo-Scale” each year, during the optimum phase of vegetation development.
D.1 aims to clarify, which times and which conditions are necessary for the establishment of the desired Habitat Types in the Rhön.


D2 Monitoring to control the efficiency of measures for protection of bird species

The measures C.3 to C.7 include numerous detailed measures for the development and improvement of the habitats and the living conditions of the bird species. Based on action A.2 an external office will perform a continuous monitoring to control the efficiency of the measures. Those controls include area-wide data on the stock of Common Snipe, Whinchat, Corncrake and Northern Shrike in the focal areas and exemplarily data on the stock of Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit and Northern Shrike in selected focal areas. Further, they will randomly control the habitat use of the Black Stork.


D3 Monitoring of public relations and project progress (indicators)

Documentation of public relations is important to spread the results of the LIFE project in an ideal way during the project period and to increase the knowledge about NATURA 2000. Hence, the team will monitor the effects of public relations activities in the categories “public perception” and “increase of knowledge about the content of Natura 2000 and LIFE+”. This measure started at the beginning of the project.


D4 Assessment of socio-economic impact

To assess the socio-economic impact of the LIFE project in the Rhön, the team compares the economically relevant direct expenditure of the project to findings from the agro-socioeconomic study in action A.1. Further, a forecast model will allow the assessment of the effects of the project on the future economic situation of the participating stakeholders.
As an addition, the participating farmers answer an standardised survey, requesting their current knowledge about Natura 2000 and their respective self-perception between the priorities of agriculture and nature conservation.

D5 Improvement of the knowledge base of ecosystem services and communication of results

The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has so far been very abstract and therefore has hardly found its way into social and political decisions. It describes the benefits people obtain from nature. While the project cannot conduct any research, it will provide access to the current state of knowledge. It will answer what effects extensive grassland cultivation does have on the provision of ESS, compared to more intensive land use?


D6 Monitoring to control the efficiency of measures for the enlargement and optimisation of habitats and creation of a stable metapopulation of the Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia)

Action C.7 foresees the extension of potential habitats of the Marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) and the improvement of the habitat quality by optimising the permanent maintenance. External professionals will execute continuous monitoring in terms of an efficiency control in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures realised and to adjust method and extent, if necessary. In addition, this action will increase the acceptance of land users by offering more transparency and efficiency.

Monitoring of permanent trial plot - picture: LIFE team

Red-Backed Shrike - picture: LIFE team

Semi-natural dry grassland with junipers and orchids - picture: LIFE team

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