The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Austria has designated its 20th Wetland of International Importance, a complex of raised bog and other wetland types at about 1,460 metres altitude in the southern state of Carinthia. As summarized by Ramsar's Kati Wenzel from the Ramsar Information Sheet, Autertal/St. Lorenzener Hochmoor (48 hectares, 13°55'11''E 046°51'54''N), a Natura 2000 site since2000, consists of various representative, rare, natural and near-natural wetland types, but is predominantly a raised bog with mountain pine surrounded by various types of sedge land and wet grassland. The site also supports numerous internationally, nationally and regionally rare species of plants and animals, including different bat species such as Myotis myotis
, dragonfly species like Leucorrhinia pectoralis
, moss species such as Drepanocladus vernicosu
s and mammals like lynx (Lynx lynx
The site is used for extensive hunting and fishing, extensive farming (hay meadow, summer pasture for cattle, alpine pasture), forestry, and recreation (especially hiking, snowshoe-hiking, mountain biking and skiing). Forest succession presents a threat. The hydrology of the raised-bog is disturbed, but several wooden dams have been built into the drainage ditch in order to raise the water table and rebuild the requirements for active bog-growing. The surrounding nutrient-poor meadows and coniferous forest are sustainably managed. A management plan and nomination as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Biosphärenpark Nockberge" are in preparation.
The new designation is Ramsar Site number 1979, with the designation effective as of 12 September 2011.