Nature Reserve is a protection category of the territorial nature protection under the Federal Nature Conservation Act ( Federal Nature Conservation Act ).


§ 23 Federal Nature Conservation Act reads in full:

( 1) Nature Reserves are legally established areas where a special protection of nature and landscape in its entirety or in individual parts required

1 for the conservation, development or restoration of habitats, biotopes or communities of certain species of wild fauna and flora,

2 for scientific, natural history or regional reasons or

3 because of their rarity, special nature or outstanding beauty.

( 2) All actions that can lead to the destruction, damage or alteration of the conservation area or its components or to a sustained disturbance are prohibited subject to qualifiers. Extent permitted by the protective purpose, nature reserves, the public can be made available.

The use of the term " reserve" or those that are confusingly similar to her, other than the legally protected areas is prohibited by law.

Nature reserves (mostly in card form) reported usually by publication of reserve regulation and the determination in an official publication by decree or ordinance legally. In the countries where the landscape plan is adopted as legally binding statutes (usually it is only non-binding expert opinion ) they can be legally and with the legal force of the respective landscape plan. Since it is an interference with the rights of third parties in the designation of protected areas, those affected shall be given an opportunity to comment before. The designation of a conservation area is an act and may be challenged in court as such, but only of those affected. The Authority may impose before the expulsion of the protected area a temporary development freeze so quickly facts can not be created before the force of law.

The status of a conservation area is (except for the rare, large-scale national parks, which may overlap these categories ) is generally the most stringent legal protection area category ( special case of Natura 2000 is not taken into account here). The land and land within the conservation area are privately owned in the rule. Their right to their property is not canceled by the designation. Covered by the case law is that the owners have to accept restrictions on the use and usability of their land. Legal basis is the constitutional right of social obligation of property. What restrictions apply in detail, is often highly controversial in practice. The conservation authority is required to avoid " undue " hardship, that is, all constraints must be taken from the protective purpose than necessary. If the usability of land so severely limited by the Reserve regulation that it is no longer usable for the owner and worthless ( " confiscatory " intervention), he may require the public acquisition ( fair value). Lawfully exercised uses within a newly designated conservation area shall be grandfathered. But you may therefore no longer be intensified and broadened. To avoid conflicts with landowners, the conservation authority shall endeavor, in many cases to the public purchase of the land. But even with public beneficial owner, such as forest administrations, are use conflicts within protected areas on the agenda.

In addition to the real property other rights and uses are restricted or suspended within a conservation area under certain circumstances. This concerns, for example, hunting and fishing rights, Betretungsrechte, and more. Again, decisive for the restriction is the text of reserve regulation. So Corresponding rights expire in no way automatically. Most in conservation areas, the recreational use is limited by a marked trails. This means that they may continue to be entered, but only on marked trails.

In general, the conservation authority attempts to control the development of a conservation area in order to achieve the protection objectives. For this special expertises mostly " care plan ", " Care and Development Plan ", "Management Plan" or the like are created, named. These represent the regulatory objectives in the area dar. towards third parties (eg land owners ) they do not have legal force. In many protected areas, there are significant shortcomings in enforcement, because the authorities are not in a position to enforce the prohibitions and restrictions or control (eg lack of staff ). The status of a conservation area is not automatically ensure that the conservation objectives in the area will be achieved. In practice, the status of many protected areas has deteriorated detectable after their expulsion.


Since nature reserves otherwise restrict legitimate uses, they must be identified in the field. Only then can such as a walker know that it is located in a conservation area and he must not leave, for example the way. For historical reasons, this labeling is not uniform in Germany.

Conservation areas were identified in the Altländern the Federal Republic of Germany through the green signs with the Eagles in the former East Germany and in the new federal states with the five -pointed shield with the long-eared owl. After the German reunification, the 36th Conference of Environment Ministers in 1991, the Owl symbol recommended future throughout Germany for the identification of conservation areas to use. This recommendation, however, was not implemented by the countries in whose jurisdiction the environmental policy is, uniform. For this reason, today made ​​in Germany three different labels next to each other.

  • Baden- Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine -Westphalia, Rhineland -Palatinate and Saarland use the eagle in the green triangle.
  • In Berlin, Bremen and Lower Saxony, the owl is considered in the green triangle.
  • Brandenburg, Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony -Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia use the owl in the pentagon, where Saxony-Anhalt used a basic white instead of yellow.

New sign with owl

Old shield with eagle

The green triangle with the black flight image drawing of a floating eagle goes back to the painter and graphic artist Hans Troschel, who is also the book of Lakeside kites wrote as nature lovers. The Eagle is equated with the German national bird, which is represented less stylized in conservation of natural context. The simple contrast of dark body and wings and lighter head and tail plumage makes the picture, but appear as a bald eagle ( national bird of the United States). The shield with the black owl on a yellow background was designed by Kurt Kretschmann from Bad Freiwalde.

Conservation areas to be considered in land use planning and must be presented and considered in development plans. One speaks here of a memorandum takeover. They are binding and can not be overcome in the weighing about because of an overriding public interest. However, it is of course possible to reserve nature reserves. This applies, in principle, the same procedure as for their expulsion.

As an example of a regulation is prescribed in detail for the nature reserve Upper pepper flow, Brandenburg the " protective purpose " of the area.

Nature reserves in Germany

The category Nature Reserve was first established in 1920 in the Prussian Field and Forest Police Law. Other German states followed part. The Neander Valley near Dusseldorf is considered the first German nature reserve. With the Reich Nature Protection Act of 1935 there was a general government regulation in Germany. 1936 were registered as protected areas 98 areas. The end of 2008 there were in Germany 8,413 nature reserves with a total area of ​​1,271,582 hectares. This corresponds to 3.6 % of Germany. The lowest area fractions have the states of Hesse (1.8%) and Rhineland -Palatinate ( 1.9%). The area ratios of the "old " and "new " federal states are comparable. Approx. 60 % of all protected areas are smaller than 50 hectares. In such small areas to achieve the protection objectives may be jeopardized, because negative influences from the surrounding area can not be sufficiently buffered according to the experts. The number and size of protected areas has increased significantly over the past decades. 1995 passed in Germany only 5,314 nature reserves covering an area of ​​6845 km ². Also, the current scope is considered by experts to be too low in order to preserve biodiversity in Germany can.

The following table lists the wildlife sanctuaries are listed according to German countries:

In addition to the nature reserve of the Federal Nature Conservation Act knows more protection options that turn out more or less strict and serve different purposes:

  • Special Area Protection: National Parks, protected areas, biosphere reserves, natural parks
  • European protected areas under the Fauna-Flora -Habitat Directive and the Birds Directive for the formation of a European habitat network Natura 2000
  • Protection of species and habitats: habitat protection
  • Protection of individual landscape elements: natural monuments, protected landscape components

See also

  • Nature Reserve ( Austria )