Even in industrial areas, nature can be interesting. Up to 39 bird species were counted in the Rakytovce WWTP

The number of bird species in the Rakytovce WWTP is high due to the riparian vegetation of the nearby Hron river, but also due to the project to support biodiversity, which is implemented by the company.

Veolia and Stredoslovenská vodárenská prevádzková spoločnosť, a.s. have been implementing a biodiversity support project in cooperation with the Ekopolis Foundation since 2017. Currently, in cooperation with ornithologist Imrich Kováč from SOS / BirdLife Slovakia, they have focused on monitoring bird species that occur in the Rakytovce WWTP complex.

“The number of bird species pleasantly surprised us, as it is a relatively high number compared to the size of the area. For most species, the expert also recorded nesting, while for up to 5 of those species, their population is declining in our country “, said Štefan Jančo from the Ekopolis Foundation.

In recent years, they have installed more than 20 birdhouses of various types in the wastewater treatment plant, and in 2019 also 50 artificial nests for the Common house martin. Favourable conditions are also related to the occurrence of larger trees and the gradual change of selected grasslands to flowering meadows, where birds will find more food.

Of interest is the occurrence of the rare Peregrine falcon (Falco subbuteo), which uses the area as a hunting territory. The presence of the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) and the nicely coloured Common linnet (Carduelis cannabina) was also pleasant surprises, as these species are declining in our nature.

The ornithologist also proposed several new measures to improve the environment, such as adding trusses that are missing in the area. However, a number of native deciduous tree species have already been planted as part of the project. Trees and shrubs will gradually provide birds with shelter, food, nesting opportunities, and over time, other bird species may appear.

“We started implementing the project Protection and Support of Biodiversity in Industrial Estates as the first company in Slovakia. We started gradually with an audit of biodiversity in the area and slowly increased measures to maintain and expand the occurrence of plant and animal species. In the area of ​​the treatment plant, we have built a pond, which retains rainwater from a nearby building and is a habitat for aquatic plants and animals, we also have interactive elements designed to teach students, we have established a forest of local species. We would like to be an inspiration for other companies and show that the industrial estates can also be an oasis of biodiversity “, summed up Slavomíra Vogelová from Veolia.

The Rakytovce WWTP site has become part of the international concept of Biodiversity Oriented Premises (BOPs), which is being developed in the Slovak environment by the Ekopolis Foundation thanks to the EU LIFE BooGI-BOP project.

Contact: Štefan Jančo, program manager, janco@ekopolis.sk, 048/470 10 94

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