Worldwide there are more than 599 biosphere reserves recognized by UNESCO in more than 117 countries. Germany has 15 (as of 2 October 2012).

Elbe River Landscape Biosphere Reserve is a cross-border reserve. There are five “Elbe” states with areas of varying sizes (Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein). The conservation area includes the Elbe, its tributaries and its near-nature preserved floodplain regions. It extends from Pretzsch (south-eastern Saxony-Anhalt) to the Elbe estuary at the North Sea near Geesthacht. Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve is the part located in Saxony-Anhalt. The map on the website shows the location, dimensions and size of the area.

Beavers can live for up to 20-25 years. Adult beavers can measure up to 1.40 m in length (including their tail) and weigh up to 35 kg.

Beavers are strict vegetarians and therefore don’t eat any fish. Their diet is made up of herbs, aquatic plants, and the bark of softwood trees, especially willows and poplars.

When danger lurks the beaver is able to remain underwater for up to 20 minutes. A nictitating membrane seals its eyes underwater, however beavers are able to navigate using their sense of touch (whiskers). Beavers are very agile in the water. Their extremely thick and carefully oiled coat protects them from the wet and cold.

No, at least not a serious impact though there was a loss of some individuals. Beavers live in floodplain habitats and are prepared for flooding. As long as they can find a dry place where they can rest (hill, steep bank etc.), they are not directly in danger. For young beavers, being separated from their parents can be critical in extreme situations like in 2002 or when their lodge is completely flooded. Unfortunately many more beavers die in road accidents than through flooding.

The annual events calendar provides information about the more than 100 scheduled tours and excursions offered by the reserve’s administration. There is a printed form of the calendar available and it can also be found on the biosphere reserve’s website. In addition to the scheduled events, there are also variable-date events (excursions, cycle tours, presentations) that are, for the most part, on offer throughout the year. Appointments can be arranged with the administration. These events are aimed at childcare centres and schools for organizing projects, field trips and local studies classes out in nature. Expert talks and excursions on biological and water ecology topics round off what is on offer. Our environmental education department is happy to answer your inquiries (Phone: +49 34904 40610).

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