Quality biodiversity areas as an opportunity

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In the past, the song of the skylark was heard everywhere. Today, the species isIn the past, the song of the skylark was heard everywhere. Today, the species is on the red list. Quality BPS on cultivated land supports it. photo Daniele Occhiato

Biodiversity promoting areas (BPAs) are important habitats for many animal species, some of which are now rare. BPAs will be mandatory on at least 3.5% of arable land from 2024. This is an ideal time to plan for such elements. Quality PPSs also offer advantages from an agronomic point of view.

Sempach. - For centuries, cultivated land has been the habitat of bird species such as the corn quail, the skylark and the sparrow hare, but also of other animals such as the hare. In recent decades, intensification processes have deteriorated the living conditions of these animals in many places. As a result, many species specialized in cultivated land have become scarce or have even disappeared.

Biodiversity-promoting areas (BPAs) are important refuges for flora and fauna. Until now, such elements have been implemented only to a limited extent in cultivated areas. This will change: from 2024 onwards, the federal government will prescribe at least 3.5% of BPA on arable land.

This offers great opportunities for biodiversity, but also for agriculture, especially when quality PPS are established, such as flower fallows or heaths on cropland. They provide a high diversity of wild plants and attract important insects for crop pollination. Small predatory animals such as spiders, carabids or predatory bugs can multiply and eliminate undesirable insects such as aphids. This creates a natural balance. The crops are more robust and produce more. Moreover, phytosanitary products can be saved.

The diversity of insects, flowers and plant seeds also provides an optimal food source for many bird species. Quality PPSs remain in place all year round and offer wildlife not only ideal conditions for rearing their offspring, but also refuge in winter. Thus, skylarks, hares and other birds have a better chance of survival.

The Swiss Ornithological Institute therefore reminds us that this is the ideal time to plan such areas. Let’s not miss this opportunity, because quality PBR on cultivated land is not only beneficial for birds and other wildlife, but also for humans.