May 27, 2024

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Whinchats often settle in the Loisach-Köchelsee moor. It is on the verge of extinction.
Whinchats often settle in the Loisach-Köchelsee moor. It is on the verge of extinction. © Archive

The idyllic moorland between Loisach and Köchelsee is a paradise for endangered bird species. However, the Bichler City Council is urging dog owners to keep their dogs on leads, as dogs running loose pose a serious threat.

Bichl – The moorland with flowering meadows between Loisach and Köchelsee is an important habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. More than 200 bird species visit the wetland area as guests and breeding birds, some of which are endangered. They are subject to special protection. This species is especially endangered when young birds are kept and dogs are allowed to run free. The fact that some dog owners do not take this into account, despite numerous indications, was the subject of a recent Bichler City Council meeting.

Dogs should not be allowed to run freely, especially in moss, woodland, or farmland.

The second mayor, Helmut Oppel, who represented the ailing Mayor Benedikt Pessenbacher, reported on the appointment at the district office where the announcement of the sub-nature conservation agency was made. “We were concerned about how best to regulate dog leashes. In Bavaria, regulation regarding leash requirements is left to each municipality.”

There is currently no general obligation to keep dogs on leashes in Bichl, Oppel explained when asked. Only dogs with a shoulder size over 50 centimeters must be leashed. It is especially important to prevent dogs from running freely in moss, in the woods, or near farmland. But this is “largely ignored,” Oppel said.

It is important to the community that leash requirements, especially in moose, be more closely monitored. According to the second mayor, word has spread among dog owners that there is currently a ranger in the Weilheim-Schongau area, who is looking after the Loisach-Köchelseemör area. “People just cross the Loisach River and come to our side,” Oppel said. This approach is problematic for the community.

Local councils are concerned about the chaos caused by dogs running loose and are calling for stricter regulations.

The Lower Conservation Authority will continue to stick to its previous strategy. “They’re more concerned with visitor planning. This includes, for example, the new hiking map no longer includes small trails.” This is only useful to a limited extent because everyone knows,” Oppel replied. He spoke to Franz Steger of the Lower Nature Conservancy about how dog leash requirements can be implemented. “They rely on a different concept. They want to impress their visitors so much that they leash their own dogs,” Oppel said, drawing laughter from other local councilors.

Michael Knestel, who was also present at the reservation, expressed concern that “people should reconsider walking on moss a little bit and stop walking on moss during the growing season.” “Winchats are in grasslands, not trash meadows, because they just need food,” Knestel explained.

Helmut Kolbeck agreed with this comment and reminded of the ban on marked trails in meadow breeding areas, which applies from March 20 to July 15. Even pastures used for agriculture can only be accessed through existing trails during the growing season. “The disruption is immeasurable,” Colbeck said. Especially by letting dogs roam free. ” He spoke out in favor of tighter controls. You can’t tell if a dog is well trained just by looking at it.

Pasture Breeding Officer: Most dog owners accept education

Oppel concluded by emphasizing that “we don’t necessarily want to ban everything.” In addition to avoiding meadow breeding areas, hikers and walkers should not cross other meadows within the municipality. “This is a feeding ground for animals. No one has to walk through it anymore,” said the second mayor.

“There are always problems with dogs,” explains Bettina Kelm, the breeder’s representative at Meadow, when asked. Of course, there are a few “grantors” who simply don’t want to comply with the regulations. However, most dog owners are receptive to education. “It always comes down to how you talk to people,” Kelm says.

Rumors are widespread, especially among local residents, that dogs should be leashed. However, many owners “don’t know that their dog can cause it.” Breeding birds will be scared of dogs and chase them away. The eggs will cool. “The problem is confusion itself,” experts say. (vfi)

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