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He comes at night. He sneaks through a hole in the fence.
And he is warmly welcome! The opening was created especially for him. The hole in the fence has made way for a concrete pipe. This keeps the wild boars out.
We are talking about a fox.
This fox likes to spend his nights on the grounds of Lübeck Airport, and he is a welcome visitor. For several years now, the 120 hectare site in the Blankensee district of Lübeck has been a regular home to a mating pair of foxes.
And almost every year, the fox family has a new litter. The cubs soon find their own territory though to secure their own food supply.
The “airport foxes” have an extraordinarily important job to do: hunting small mammals, for example mice. When fewer mice live on the airport site, there are fewer birds of prey here too, as they seek their food from airborne vantage points and dive to capture it.
And birds of prey, in turn, constitute a danger for flight operations. Birdstrike is one of the most frequent causes of accidents.
This, then, is a natural way of avoiding accidents. And it is not detrimental to species diversity and management in the region.
The heath is in bloom
Every year, roughly between 8 August and 9 September, the heath in the north is in bloom.
Various areas of the airport site, too, are bathed in that glorious violet shade, and we can barely get enough of the sight.
Sandy and low in nutrients the region’s soil may be, but it provides the plant with enough of what is needed to bring us this joy year in, year out.
The airport site – workplace for animals and people
Environmental engineer and waste water technology expert Martin Rödiger is responsible for all environmental matters at Lübeck Airport.
By his side every moment is Oreo, an 8-month old “teenage landseer” that Rödiger is training as an airport dog. Later, Oreo will be tasked with making sure that native birds do not pose a danger for flight operations and in turn are not endangered by traffic. Oreo will be part of the Wildlife Management team, officially charged with “bird control”.
Rödiger certainly has plenty of work to do. Lübeck Airport’s new green space maintenance concept is currently being agreed upon.
The development and implementation of a concept like this involves prior consultation with the intermediate nature conservation authority.
There is no shortage of rules and guidelines for Lübeck Airport to follow. The so-called “Accompanying Landscape Conservation Plan”, for example, is just one of the guidelines regulating the planning permission process, defining precise qualitative and quantative targets for individual measures in order to keep the impact on the natural environment to a minimum and to compensate for such impact appropriately.
From time to time, we will present individual measures here.