Meadows and pastures
The steppe-like landscape that has developed over the centuries of pasturing and mowing is extremely rich in flora and fauna. Together with local farmers the National Park works hard to preserve these precious habitats through measures of habitat management.
Vast, connected meadows and pasture land is just as characteristic for the region, as the Neusiedler See, its reed belt or the saline lakes. Pasturing and mowing are two of the measures taken by the National Park in order to preserve precious habitats. These measures are coordinated by the National Park and scientifically monitored.
Meadow breeders like the Lapwing, Common Redshank, or Black-tailed Godwit, as well as the Skylark and the Yellow Wagtail find food and nesting areas here. The open landscape helps them to spot potential predators - like Marsh Harriers or martens early enough to flee, distract the predator from the nest, or even start a counterattack. Breeding pairs "pass" the predator on. Many insects live in the cow dung; these insects are food for many bird species.
Pasturing and mowing produce similar results: open land is preserved and through the removal of organic matter nutrients are extracted from the soil. This preserves dry grassland and semi-arid grassland that belong to the so-called priority natural habitat types within the European Union. Contrary to mowing, where plants are cut very short, pasturing leaves some plants untouched, like the Spiny Restharrow and the Field Eryngo. These plants protect themselves against animals with thorns, spines, bitter taste, or poison.