Lebensader-Taugl-Flussuferlaeufer-5 Free-flowing rivers with expansive gravel plains are rare. And as a consequence, birds adapted to this habitat are finding less and less living space. The little ringed plover and the common sandpiper have been documented in the Tauglgries. But life isn't made easy for them here.


Disturbance from recreational activities

Due to loss of habitat and constant disturbances, the birds are being pushed back further and further. Even just a few visitors during the breeding season will scare off the animals. Scientists have confirmed that the number of nests per kilometer of river declines dramatically as the number of visitors increases.

Disturbances are very critical, especially during the sensitive phase in April and May. The birds will court, but will not start brooding or abandon their nests.


Little ringed plover and common sandpiper are excellently adapted to flooding. But their situation worsened due to habitat loss and therefore missing refuge areas. Normally the birds will lay a replacement clutch after flooding. This can be done until mid of July. If they are disturbed during this time e.g. by tresspassers, the birds do not manage to raise their youngs to independence before leaving for migration to Africa.

Endangered population

Lebensader-Taugl-Flussregenpfeifer-8 Unfortunately the populations of gravel bank-nesting birds have shrunken considerably. In spite of intensive searches, only one breeding attempt by the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) could be confirmed in 2013. The common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) was observed migrating.

How the populations will develop in the coming years remains to be seen. Along with trans-regional population trends and the flood situation, optimized visitor management will play a key role in this.

Go to Little Ringed Plover or Common Sandpiper