Red-listed species often found on golf courses

Red-listed species are common on golf courses. Endangered species such as the Yellow-bellied Toad have long been a bogeyman. Golf course operators and club directors have been afraid of red-listed species like this for decades. Fear that the appearance of a critically endangered species could endanger the existence of a golf course. Fear that finding a valuable dragonfly, orchid or bumblebee would result in a golf hole being closed.

Red-listed species mostly away from the playing area

In the meantime, the situation has changed: “This fear used to be very widespread,” explains Sabine Tappertzhofen, head of the Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen office of the State Association for Bird Protection in Germany . “Now people are happy in the clubs.” At least that is her experience from working with the Bavarian Golf Association and various golf courses. “Red list species are usually found in biotopes and on the edges of the square.” Her assessment: “This means that environmental and species protection and golfers rarely get in each other’s way.”

Endangered species upgrade golf course

Gunther Hardt, head of the Biodiversity Committee at the German Golf Association, even makes those responsible at golf clubs interested in Red List species: “Many have not yet recognized the value they have on their golf course.” This ultimately documents how valuable the area is for species protection. And: not only orchids or dragonflies, which many golfers first think of when they think of the red list, are relevant. “There are also many fungi or amphibians that are worth protecting,” says Hardt.

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The golf course, according to numerous inventory surveys on golf courses, offers numerous habitats for species worthy of protection. The GC Altötting-Burghausen identified 648 species as part of a GEO day, including many endangered specimens. Some golf clubs, such as the GC Hubbelrath near Düsseldorf, even explicitly pursue the protection of such endangered species. With the help of a species search engine from the Red List Center , one can easily identify the relevant species online. The Red Lists are published by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

Relocation during conversions is a solution

The only problem cases for golf courses with Red List species sometimes arise during conversion work on the course. This often requires the approval of the nature conservation authority. Sometimes an inventory is necessary. If endangered species are then found, those involved look for the best solution. “In most cases we find a location on the same site for resettlement,” reports Sabine Tappertzhofen from her experience. In extremely rare cases, the plan has to be changed. This is one of the reasons why the fear of the Yellow-bellied Toad has long since subsided. On the contrary: At the GC Riedhof near Munich, they are currently working on improving the environment for the Yellow-bellied Toad. So that the red-listed species really enjoys its habitat on the golf course.