Spatial analysis of priority nature conservation areas for the Netzwerk Naturwald
Hanns Kirchmeir, Tobias Köstl
In the “Netzwerk Naturwald” [“Network Natural Forests”] project area, there are plans between the protected areas of the Kalkalpen National Park, Gesäuse National Park and Dürrenstein wilderness area to identify priority areas for nature conservation. This is intended to provide an aid to decision-making, in order to select areas that are most suitable for the spatial interconnection of the existing protected areas. E.C.O. was commissioned to undertake a spatial analysis of the area. The selection of the areas took place in two phases. In the first phase, the landscape was assessed in terms of its suitability for priority areas for nature conservation. In the second phase, areas were selected that were highly important for maintaining habitat connectivity. The suitability as priority areas for nature conservation was given a numerical value. In this way the team of E.C.O. was able to sort the areas in terms of their significance, and depending on the available resources or the willingness of the land owners, to establish an implementation sequence.