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Environmental Protection

Info board on the surrogate habitat for common wall lizards and biotope for location-typical insects and plants

13.11.2020

Read all the important information about the relocation of the protected reptiles resulting from Koehler's new build and about the development of a biotope

Info board on the surrogate habitat for common wall lizards and biotope for location-typical insects and plants

In the course of the construction project "Production Line 8" at the site in Kehl, the Koehler Paper Group, together with a certified biologist, has created a surrogate habitat for the common wall lizards and a surrogate biotope for insects and plants typical found in rocky landscapes. The reptiles, which enjoy strict protection across the EU, have long since settled in to their new home. Those who are interested in the animals can read about the details of compensatory measures carried out by Koehler on an info board which was recently put up on the company premises. The move was based on extensive expert knowledge, a sincere sense of responsibility on the part of an expanding industrial enterprise and, above all else, many days of work for Koehler trainees as part of an environmental initiative.

The biologist Dr. Ingo Nikusch, Koehler Environmental Officer Rolf Peter, Koehler trainee Matthias Lott, Joachim Uhl (Koehler Mill Director in Kehl), Deputy Port Director Uli Stichler, and Philipp Harmuth (Head of Technical and Site Services at the Kehl mill) came together to set up the board. While doing so they looked back on a significant undertaking. To ensure the lizards felt at home, 40 cm of soil and cut grass were taken from the original site and transported to the relocation site, to ensure seeds and soil fauna were also transported. Conversely, plant species that were non-typical and unsuitable for the habitat location were removed. To this end, under the instruction of Dr. Ingo Nikusch, the young people planted ecologically valuable vegetation and built the lizards a sanctuary using loose rocks. A landing net was used to capture the shy animals, which where then promptly released into their new domicile. A fence protects the carefully constructed new habitat from vandalism.

The Koehler trainees will continue to keep an eye on the lizards and their new home in the future: Vegetation that is unsuitable for the habitat and plants whose seeds were carried into the area by wind will be removed. In early summer mulching is on the cards. However, the area will not be mowed and material will only be cleared away if needed. Should this be necessary to maintain the living conditions of the lizards, appropriate special measures will be taken.

Just how the lizards like it: the Koehler trainees tend to the rock pile, which the protected reptiles favor as their home.
The flora in the surrogate habitat, built to compensate for the construction of Paper Machine 8 in Kehl's harbor area, must meet very particular requirements to ensure the insects and lizards feel at home.

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