Counteracting the rapid decline of birds and insects

Counteracting the rapid decline of birds and insects

In the project BioDiversum - Biotope at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences we have bundled a number of individual measures with the aim of providing birds, insects, and other animal groups with a diverse habitat on our premises to increase biodiversity.

When the living conditions for animals as diverse as birds, insects, bats and reptiles are to be sustainably improved, numerous factors must be taken into account and harmonized. We wanted to design the BioDiversum at our institute in Göttingen in such a way that as many animal groups as possible can benefit, and we wanted to include the entire institute premises into the biotope. The following plan provides an overview of the measures planned.


Fallow land at the north-eastern end of the institute premises

  • Central element: pond of approximately 900 sqm; important basis of life for numerous birds, insects, and amphibians
  • Transforming the remaining land into a meagre meadow; habitat for more plants and thus for more insects
  • Additionally: fruit trees and flowering shrubs; food for insects, food and nesting places for birds
  • Large compost; habitat for earthworms, slowworms, and grass snakes
  • Cairns; habitat for lizards in particular
  • Year-round large bird feeding area

 Other areas

  • Creating wildfower meadows; habitat for numerous insects such as butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles, wild bees
  • Creating earth edges and providing dead wood; nesting places for wild bees
  • Planting flowering plants which serve as a food source for the wild bees already present at the institute (many wild bee species are specialized on specific food plants)
  • Planting wide, multi-row hedges and bushes; hiding places and nesting places for birds

 Other measures

  • 100 nesting boxes for birds
  • Several bat boxes
  • Replacing trees unsuitable for the location with site-appropriate and ecologically valuable species such as field maple
  • At the institute kindergarten: bird feeding areas, insect hotels, berry bushes, herb beds

The biotope will also have an educational dimension: It is planned to involve the institute’s kindergarten Entdeckerland am Faßberg and thus introduce the children to the topics of nature and biodiversity. Furthermore, a cooperation with Göttingen schools is being considered, for instance within the scope of project weeks or term papers.

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