Ambassador profile


  Name: Christamaria Kugge
  Function: Natura 2000 official
  Country: Germany
  E-mail: Christamaria.Kugge(at)
  Tel: +49 33201 442 467

Organisation profile


  Organisation: Landesumweltamt Brandenburg (Brandenburg State Office for Environment)
  E-mail: infoline(at)lua.brandenburg(dot)de
  Tel: +49 33201 4420
  Established: 1990-2005
  Category: Governmental Organisation
  Number of staff: -
Site profile
  Site name: Oberes Rhinluch  
  Location: Eastern Germany; about 60 km west of Berlin  
  Land area: approximately 2,780 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Fehrbellin (Linum), Kremmen  
  Natura 2000 ID:

The site contains an SCI (DE 3243-301; 'Oberes Rhinluch') and a pSCI (DE 3243-303; 'Oberes Rhinluch Ergänzung'). Both of them are part of a much bigger SPA: DE 3242-421 ('Rhin-Havelluch').

  Annual visitor count: No numbers available  
  Majority of visitors from: Berlin  
  Site description:

The site was originally almost inaccessible fen and wetland. From 1786 to 1882 it was subject to intensive peat exploitation and during the 20th century it was shaped by the development and intensive agriculture. Today the fenland is mainly used as non-intensive grassland. Apart from fen/grassland, the site consists of a few smaller woodland areas, a pond landscape of approximately 250 ha (the ‘Linum fish ponds’, a remnant of former peat cutting), a lake of approximately 250 ha (‘Buetzsee’) and parts of a River system (‘Rhin’) which is frequented by medium-sized motorboats, mostly for recreational purposes.
Non-priority Natura 2000 habitat types include ‘natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion and Hydrocharition–type vegetation’ (3150) and Molinia meadows on calcareous and peaty soils (6410). Species in Annex II of the Habitats Directive include beaver (Castor fiber), otter (Lutra lutra) and the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina).
The Linum fish ponds and surrounding flooded meadows belong to one of the most important inland crane resting sites in Central Europe. In autumn 2006 the Linum night roost boasted overnight populations of some 70,000 individuals - an all-time record so far. Another factor that strongly adds to the site’s conservation value is a variety of breeding birds among them a large number of Annex I species of the Birds Directive such as white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), bittern (Botaurus stellaris), little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and bluethroat (Luscinia svecica).
Apart from the motorboats on the Rhin there is hardly any public motorized traffic on the still quite inaccessible site but, especially during crane resting season, the area is frequented by many visitors.
A number of organizations are involved in the management of the site, among them the Landesumweltamt which operates a field office in Linum (Naturschutzstation Rhinluch; website of Friends of the Naturschutzstation, Agena e.V.:, the Landschaftsförderverein Oberes Rhinluch e.V. (, the Naturschutzbund Deutschland Berlin e.V. which is running a nature conservation centre in Linum (Storchenschmiede: and the Vogelschutz-Komitee e.V. (



All species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
  1014 Vertigo angustior Narrow-mouthed whorl snail / Schmale Windelschnecke
  1016 Vertigo moulinsiana Desmoulin's whorl snail / Bauchige Windelschnecke
  1145 Misgurnus fossilis Weather loach / Schlammpeitzger
  1149 Cobitis taenia Spined loach / Steinbeißer
  1166 Triturus cristatus Great crested newt / Kammmolch
  1188 Bombina bombina Fire-bellied toad / Rotbauchunke
  1337 Castor fiber Beaver / Biber
  1355 Lutra lutra Otter / Fischotter
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  7210* Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and species of the Caricion davallianae
  91D1* Bog woodland (Sphagnum birch woods)
  91E0* Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion
, Salicion alvae)
  3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion and Hydrocharition-type vegetation
  3260 Water courses of plain levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
  6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous and peaty soils (Molinion caeruleae)
  6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←        → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success stories

Pond management

Important conservation measures for the pond management include the maintenance of a high water level in fall season in order to provide shallow water areas as night roosts for resting cranes (overnight populations of regularly up to 50,000 individuals).
Over the last several years the less intensive level of fish farming and the high water level in the fall season has been ensured through nature conservation contracts. The financing for those contracts was provided by a particular funding programme of the state of Brandenburg.


Reconstruction of Rhin waterway

Due to the peat cutting mentioned above the water level of the Rhin lies above ground so that the river has to be secured by dams. Over the last few years it became more and more obvious that it was necessary to fundamentally reconstruct those dams some of which were at severe risk of breaking. At the same time the river banks are part of the habitat of several endangered species, for example the beaver. Thanks to intensive cooperation between the water authority and the nature conservation authority and due to the incorporation of findings from 'Article 6 (3) assessment' (Habitats Directive) the original planning could be altered so that for example 'beaver-friendly' reconstruction alternatives are now being implemented.

Photo credit: Jana Albrecht, Bruno D'Amicis, Ekkehard Hinke, Christamaria Kugge and Henrik Watzke.
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Green Days more info
Guided visits


  Event frequency
During summer time at least once per month an event is held by one of the organizations mentioned above (see site description).


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Kind of work / volunteering opportunities
Volunteers are coordinated by the organizations mentioned above (Naturschutzstation Rhinluch, Landschaftsförderverein Oberes Rhinluch e.V., Storchenschmiede etc.). Areas of volunteer work include the participation in crane counts, visitor guidance and habitat improvement.


  Communication literature produced
Other: a comprehensive book on Natura 2000 in Brandenburg (see communication strategy)
Other: regular articles in the magazine ‘Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Brandenburg’ on various Natura 2000 issues (


  Communication target groups
General public
Other site managers
Local community
Site visitors


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Description of communication strategy
  • Comprehensive information on Natura 2000 in Brandenburg (habitats, species, backgrounds, affects on stakeholders, funding etc.) is compiled in:
    Natura 2000 – Brandenburgs Tafelsilber. (Ministerium für Ländliche Entwicklung, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Brandenburg, 2006)
  • The book (in German only) can be ordered via Email:; see also:
  • General information on Natura 2000 in state of Brandenburg is available at:
  • Information on environmental education can be found at:

The communication activities on and for the site benefit from the variety of organizations involved in the management of the site. The following is a selection of activities by some of the organizations mentioned above (see site description):

  • Naturschutzstation Rhinluch / Landesumweltamt:
    - Public day / Green day once a year (the next one will take place on 27th of October 2007; see
    - exhibitions
    - other events
    - publications, e.g.: Schneeweiß, N. (2007): Der Vogelzug im Oberen Rhinluch – eine Herausforderung für den Naturschutz. Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Brandenburg, Heft 1, 2007. (the magazine can be ordered via email: NundLBbg(at)LUA.Brandenburg(dot)de)
  • Storchenschmiede:
    - a number of events during summer time, among them guided tours; see
    - exhibitions
    - publications
  • Landschaftsförderverein Oberes Rhinluch e.V.:
    - exhibitions
    - associational events
    - publications, e.g.: Seeger, T. / Rauch, M. (2005): Rhin-/Havelluch. In Lundlin G. and authors: Cranes – where, when and why? Supplement 2005 no. 43 of Var Fagelvärld, Swedish Ornithological Society.

Other site-related publications by various authors include:

  • Hase, Detlef (2005): Herbstrast der Kraniche. Beobachtungen aus dem Rhin-Havelluch. edition q. im be.bra verlag Gmbh
  • Hielscher, Kati (2005): Das europäische Vogelschutzgebiet (SPA) Rhin-Havelluch. Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Brandenburg, Heft 1, 2007. (the magazine can be ordered via email: NundLBbg(at)LUA.Brandenburg(dot)de)
  • Kretschmer, H. (Hrsg.) (2000): Ökologisches Entwicklungskonzept Oberes Rhinluch. ZALF-Bericht Nr. 43, Müncheberg


  The communication materials are produced
At the central office
Other: at the organizations mentioned above (see site description)


  Site involved in joint working / networking


  Details of joint working / networking activity
There is no formal twinning of sites but there are a number of joint-working projects on the site. Currently the site is involved in an EU LIFE project (LIFE05NAT/LT/000094; for detailed information see which is a joint-working project between Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
Among the German project representatives are the above mentioned Friends of the Landesumweltamt field office ‘Naturschutzstation Rhinluch’, Agena e.V. ( and the Landschaftsförderverein Oberes Rhinluch e.V. ( The overall objective of the project is the protection of Emys orbicularis and amphibians in the North European Lowlands.


Site management profile
"Oberes Rhinluch - the process of drawing up a state ordinance for the protection of a nature conservation area as a component of Natura 2000 site management"
  Key site management issues:


  • Establishing conservation objectives for the pSCIs as mentioned in Article 6 (1) of the Habitats Directive by outlining them in a state ordinance. The conservation objectives for the SPA according to Article 6 (1) and Article 7 Habitats Directive are already published:
  • Establishing the necessary conservation measures
  • Taking into account the proposals and concerns of stakeholders involved
  • Ensuring compatibility of conservation measures and restrictions for land users with existing funding opportunities


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


The part of site management described in this profile particularly focuses on the implementation of Natura 2000. Special emphasis is placed on the conservation objectives and necessary conservation measures as outlined above.


  Key site management objectives:


The main focus of the process of drawing up the state ordinance is to ensure that the conservation objectives for the site are being met.

  • Key conservation objectives are:
    - Maintaining non-intensively used grasslands
    - Maintaining non-intensive usage of selected fish ponds
    - Protecting the night roosts of the resting cranes
    - Avoiding undue disturbances of species corresponding to their conservation status


The aim of the process is to create a state ordinance which is supposed to contain appropriate measures and restrictions for different areas of land use, as there are agriculture, fishery, forestry etc. and appropriate prohibitions or restrictions of plans or projects which would affect the integrity of the site. At the same time, for all restrictions on land use which are beyond the social responsibility of the land owners appropriate funding or financing opportunities have to be provided.


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • All land users (farmers, foresters, fishermen, hunters etc)
  • Landowners
  • NGOs
  • Various organizations pursuing public interests, such as waterway maintenance
  • Local and regional boards such as the county conservation board
  • Visitors

  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


In order to establish the conservation objectives various scientific surveys were commissioned or carried out by employees of the Landesumweltamt. Furthermore, existing data as well as existing plans and projects concerning the site were examined and the current situation of land use was evaluated (e.g. proportion of farmers who already practice non-intensive grassland management, extensification measures applied by them etc.).

Methods included:

  • Habitat mapping
  • Bird surveys such as a breeding bird survey, focused on species of Annex I of the Birds Directive and surveys of migrating cranes (e.g. counts)
  • Surveys of other animal species, e.g. beaver/otter surveys
  • Analysis and evaluation of various other species observed
  • Analysis of maps and aerial photos
  • Stakeholder involvement


  Results of action and activities:


Based on the conservation objectives and scientific and expert knowledge, a draft of the ordinance containing conservation measures and necessary restrictions was compiled.
In a next step those measures and restrictions will be discussed with strongly affected stakeholders. The main focus at this stage will be to find a balance between nature conservation, economical land use and other private and public interests. After this it is planned to present the draft to the public giving everyone affected by it the possibility to express their concerns, objections or proposals.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


The process described in this management profile is for the most part financed by the budget of the state of Brandenburg. There is no particular budget allocated to the site itself. For the funding of measures and restrictions on land use see financial profile.


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


No numbers available


  Budget reserved for communication:


No numbers available


  European funding:


Farmers of the site will presumably be eligible for funding from the EAFRD (in German: ELER). For example, funding opportunities outlined in Article 38 of the Council Regulation No 1698/2005 will be applicable to restrictions to fertilization of the grasslands.


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Oberes Rhinluch: DE