WACKER Nünchritz: Swallows Welcome
Nuenchritz, Jul 25, 2017
A “Swallows are welcome here” plaque was awarded to the Nünchritz plant by the Saxony branch of NABU (the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) for its contribution to nature conservation. Together with the Saxony State Foundation for Nature and the Environment, NABU acknowledges those who have worked toward the protection of swallows.
WACKER’s Nünchritz site received the plaque for measures which improved the living conditions of house martins, a member of the swallow family. There are currently over 30 occupied nests on site premises. Feeding opportunities in the area are good. Puddles at construction sites ensure that the birds have enough material to build their nests. As soon as it’s too dry for them to build nests, sympathetic plant managers see to it that the ground is watered again.
Members of the swallow family nest in very close proximity to humans. Despite their adaptability, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these birds to survive. The main causes for their decline include increasing scarcity of nesting opportunities, nest material and food sources such as winged insects. These factors are, in turn, due to building renovations, the disappearance of airborne access to nest sites, increased habitat loss (through covering land with non-porous materials), intensified agricultural activity and the use of pesticides.
Swallows are expressly protected by the German Nature Conservation Act, meaning their nests cannot be removed or destroyed. Doing this during breeding season is a criminal offense punishable by heavy fines. With its “Swallows Welcome” project, NABU is spreading awareness of the swallows’ situation throughout Saxony, accompanying the campaign with informational leaflets and forms for recording swallow sightings.