Austria adds Lendspitz – Maiernigg to the List of Wetlands of International Importance

08 September 2023
Lendspitz - Maiernigg

Austria has named Lendspitz – Maiernigg as its it 24th Wetland of International Importance, 40 years after the Convention on Wetlands entered into force in the country. The designation of this “Ramsar Site” (no.2523 on the Ramsar List) takes the total area of Ramsar Sites in Austria to over 125,000 hectares. 

The Site consists of a 500-metre stretch of natural shore area and a natural siltation zone on the Wörthersee (Lake Wörther). 

It is one of the important refuges for the Danube bleak (Alburnus chalcoides), which is listed as endangered on the Carinthian Red List. The near-natural shore and sedimentation zone is an important area for birds: ten of the 170 species present are listed as in need of special protection in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. The vulnerable Desmoulin’s whorl snail (Vertigo moulinsiana) is also present. 

The water-influenced habitats are important foraging areas for several bats: the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), the western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) and the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis). The large copper butterfly (Lycaena dispar) is considered a flagship species of the area, for example as one of the pillars of its declaration as a Natura 2000 site. 

The Site is important for maintaining the local hydrological regime and water supply. It is widely used for nature observation and tourism, and recreational activities currently pose a major threat to its ecological character. A management plan is in place, as well as an educational and visitor programme.