A herd of water buffalo helps preserve biodiversity and wetland landscape in a Natura 2000 area in Berlin, Germany.
In the ‘Tegeler Fließ’ Natura 2000 area in the Berlin region of Germany, preserving the marsh areas - home to a multitude of species - was identified as a priority. One of the biggest threats to this habitat is the encroachment of woody vegetation. An RDP-funded project was set-up to introduce water buffalo grazing to the area, replacing the need for mechanical mowing.
Funds were put towards building enclosures for the herd, constructing drinking spots and installing signs. Initially nine water buffalo were successfully introduced in 2015 and gradually expanded.
Water buffalo have been proven very successful in keeping back the growth of bushes and woody plants, maintaining open wetland, conserving biodiversity and protecting the landscape in a Natura 2000 zone.
The costs of grazing water buffalo are much lower than mechanical mowing.
Water buffalo grazing has become a regional crowd puller, attracting visitors from Berlin city and beyond.