Biotope network plans on the local scale

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Forestry, Water management, Fishery, Hunting, Spatial planning, Tourism and leisure, Nature protection, Transport, Local population/citizens, Municipalities

Affected habitats

Forest, Shrubs and wooded areas, Bogs and fens, wetlands, Alpine habitats, Grassland, Arable land, Areas for settlements and transport, Waterbodies


Targeted and functional measures are important for effective biotope networking. An area-wide biotope network plan is essential if the right measures are to be implemented in the right way and in the right place. At the level of the local authority, priority areas for the biotope network can be included in the appropriate planning documents. This permits the land use interests of the various sectors to be weighed up at the same time. Ecological interests and development potential for the residential and economic area need not necessarily conflict.


Impact in particular on Small mammals, Big mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Insects, Fish
Ecological impact  
Reduction of fragmentation or creation of new valuable habitats High-level biotope network planning can help reduce habitat fragmentation. In the best case, the combined plans of several local authorities constitute a supra-regional biotope network concept.
Improvement or preservation of habitats Individual biotope improvements derive from development and improvement measures taken in the framework of the biotope network concept.
Element of ecological network Targeted improvements are made to the individual elements of the local biotope network.
Time of realisation for measure Immediate, Weeks, Months: Biotope network planning at the municipal level combines various measures with diverse effects in a range of sectors.
Impact scope Local (municipality), Regional, Transregional: Depending on the actual design and integration of the local authority’s biotope network concept in the higher-level planning process, the measures can have regional and supra-regional effects.


Implementation period Years: Field data capture and the subsequent concept design phase take time. Several years may elapse between the initial planning phase and final implementation.
Frequency Non-recurring, Recurring: The biotope network concept and related planning documents need to be updated every few years. Some of the measures involved may only need to be taken once.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Medium (10'000-100'000 EUR): The costs of the concept can vary significantly depending on the data already available.
Socio-economic impacts No direct impact: Promotion of the plans for a biotope network can have positive effects on the regional economy(e.g. tourism). Benefits may also derive from the clear planning specifications.
Sources of financing Private sponsor, Public: local, Public: regional
Legal situation Local biotope network concepts should be integrated in the relevant planning instruments in the interest of a strong legal position in the implementation phase.

Further information

Evaluation In Neumarkt in the Salzburg region of Austria, such a concept was developed in 2007-2009 and integrated in the local spatial development plan.
Information Austria: To obtain further information or order the Neumarkt report go to:
Contact Austria: Office of the Salzburg Regional Government, Department of Nature Protection

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