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Artenschutzzentrum Thüringen
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Working group for species    Conservation Thuringia (AAT)




Arbeitsgruppe Artenschutz Thüringen e.V.

07745 Jena,  Thymianweg 25

Tel.: 03641 / 617454


Working group for species Conservation Thuringia (AAT)

The AAT has been founded in April 1991 with the aim to do nature conservation work on a sound scientific basis, especially to protect animal and plant species and their habitats.

Besides of the survey and documentation of species distributions, mainly of endangered indigenous species, concepts and programs of species conservation or suggestions to identify or develop protection areas are developed.

Today more than 100 members from different occupations work in the AAT and voluntarily observe, survey and document species distributions as well as evaluate landscapes. The results are presented in public, in publications or on specific meetings.

Forest wardens, farmers, biologists, physicians, veterinarians, engineers, teachers, pedagogues from museums, and others use their spare time to work on the communal task of species protection and pass on their knowledge to others interested in nature. Many of our members are also members in other nature conservation organisations.

In projects as well as in environmental education the AAT strives for a good cooperation with the authorized governmental agencies (e. g. regional authorities and offices of the environment). A special concern is the conveyance of information and arguments as well as constructive discussions with communal interest groups confronted with the aims and legal normative of nature conservation.

The International meeting on nature conservation: “Zoological and botanical species conservation in Central Europe” in Bad Blankenburg (Thuringia) has become an effective institution. Annually it offers interested people of voluntary organizations and governmental agencies of nature conservation as well as representatives of universities, colleges and other scientific institutions, the opportunity to present new results concerning species and nature conservation in Central Europe and to exchange ideas. The contributions do not only include subjects of biology and nature conservation but also aspects of climate and behaviour, philosophy and scientific methods of gathering, analysing and interpreting data.

One aim of the AAT is the promotion of people involved and to appreciate voluntary work. The AAT therefore annually honours meritorious accomplices at the meeting in Bad Blankenburg.

Environmental education is a major focus of the activities of the AAT. Being an educational establishment each year lectures, seminars, etc. are offered and most of them realised in the Centre for Species Protection Thuringia (“Artenschutz-Zentrum Thüringen “ AZT) in Ranis.

On the basis of its activities and the professional profile the AAT has been confirmed as accredited nature conservation association on September 3rd 2003.

By-Laws (extract)

The AAT is listed in the register of associations in Jena # VR 228/1 8.4.1991

Name and registered office

The working group takes the name “Arbeitsgruppe Artenschutz Thüringen” e.V. (AAT) (Working Group of Species Protection Thuringia) and is located in Jena. It has legal capacity because it is listed in the register of associations.


The aim of the AAT is the research of specially protected animals and plant species and such in need of protection in Thuringia, their survey, monitoring, documentation as well as development of species protection plans and conservation strategies on scientific basis also in collaboration with other organizations and agencies with similar aims in and outside of Thuringia.

In no profit way the AAT also protects the habitats of protected animals and plants of the basis of its own research and monitoring results in close cooperation with the authorized state departments in Thuringia.

The AAT supports the interests of species and habitat protection in public and advertises the system of nature reserves. 

Project: Atlas of the mammals of Thuringia

The animal group of mammals in Thuringia is neither very species rich nor characterized by high numbers of individuals compared to other groups of animals. Just as little are mammals omnipresent in our cultivated landscape like birds. Nevertheless, mammals had a special importance for humans in all times. One reason might be that we belong to this group of vertebrates and another might be the importance of mammals as food for humans.

In recent times the biology and the ecological importance of mammals has been focused on. Knowledge of the distribution and frequency of wild living mammals is an essential supposition to understand the ecological interrelations of wild animals in the cultivated landscape. Selective measures of mammal protection can, therefore, be only as good as our knowledge of the ways of living of these animals.

In cooperation with the "Landesjagdverband Thuringia" (county wide association of hunters in Thuringia) the AAT compiled an atlas of the distribution of mammals occurring in Thuringia. In this book the current distribution of all mammals of Thuringia - except bats - is illustrated. The text gives a detailed description of the distribution range and the habitats used by the species. The atlas covers the biological basics of the species occurring in Thuringia and also illustrates the development of population size and changes in distribution of single species. Special focus is given to species which have been directly or indirectly introduced to Thuringia by humans.

The atlas of mammals in Thuringia is made for experts as well as for the general public. On the one hand the atlas shall be a contribution to the situation of the mammal fauna in Thuringia and on the other hand it shall make the often hidden world of mammals from shrew to roe deer better accessible to the interested reader.

The atlas of thuringian mammals is available since 2009.

Founding of the working group “Fish protection and water ecology”

On several requests this working group has been founded on 19. April 2005 under the direction of the AAT. This working group consists of 14 representatives from different disciplines. Next to well-established fish specialists people from different administrative bodies and associations of Thuringia work together to solve problems of fish conservation.

Additionally, the numbers of cormorants, which are recorded by ornithologists are evaluated. In this way the conflicts between “fishing” and “nature conservation” shall be reduced. The consideration of the complex entirety of limnic ecosystems shall be focused on.

This also touches on the flow regime of bodies of flowing water, their structures, management plans and concerns of species protection. In this context it is important to consider regions and species listed in the European Habitats Directive and Water Framework Directive.

On the basis of scientific analyses of the waters, all data shall be combined to be able to develop long term monitoring programs of research on selected bodies of flowing and standing waters in Thuringia.

The study group works exclusively on scientific basis and compiles recommendations for the decisions of administrative agencies.  

Scientific management of bodies of standing water

The protected aerial natural monuments “Hautsee” near Dönges (Wartburgkreis) and the “Todtenlache” (Landkreis Hildburghausen) are leased by the AAT and are managed by AAT members. Scientific research on these ecosystems is in progress.

If you are interested in results or participating please contact the AAT.

Available Services from the AAT

Based on the specialties of the members of the AAT we are able to compile reviews, comments and recommendations for different kinds of customers.

Expert opinions, studies and statements

- Expert opinions on the relevance of protection, regional faunas, forests, fishery

- Management plans for reforestation and for forest restructuring

- Management plans to care for and to develop landscapes

- Landscape plans

- Landscape ecological evaluation of projects

- Habitat mapping

- Landscape conservation accompanying plans

- Survey of distribution and frequency of different groups of species

- Monitoring programs

- Analyses of endangerment

- evaluation of the use of landscapes

- assessment of environmental effects

- Evaluations on nature conservation measures

- control of success

- control of efficiency of habitat developments

- Landscape development plans or species management plans

- statements in commissions

- development and composition of all kinds of information materials


The diversity of our indigenous animals and plants, which developed over millions of years, is endangered today in a way not known at another point of time in human history.

Contrary to all exertions of full time and voluntary nature and species conservationists the Red Lists of endangered animal and plant species have to be prolonged each year. The reasons for this are diverse and include aspects of the rigorous commercialization of landscapes often in the believe biological diversity has to be sacrificed to increase the quality of life for humans. However, the opposite is true: Loss of biodiversity also means loss of quality of life.

Species conservation does not have a strong pressure group. Support the work in species and habitat protection of the AAT with your donation.

Receipts for donations are available.

Or become a member or promoter of the AAT. Please contact our office: Thymianweg 25, 07745 Jena, Tel 03641-617454 Fax: 03641-605625. email: ag-artenschutz@freenet.de

Bankaccount for dontations: Arbeitsgruppe Artenschutz Thüringen e.V.

account : 53120

BLZ : 83053030

Sparkasse Jena  

Activities and events

Several lectures, seminars, further training courses, field trips and symposia are organized by the AAT and most of them are offered at the AZT ("Artenschutz-Zentrum Thüringen" – Centre for protected species) in Ranis. The AAT aims to convey knowledge on species, habitats and complex ecological interrelations to every group interested. Please check out the annual programs or ask for speakers or instructors for your own activity or event.

Exhibition at the Centre of Species Protection ("AZT") in Ranis

Exhibits are an important way to convey knowledge about the regional fauna and flora.

The exhibition at the AZT includes:

  • displays of indigenous plants and animals, including some life ones, especially fish

  • in two large and several smaller aquariums the fish of the different regions of rivers and of standing bodies of water can be observed. On display are most of the about 40 species of freshwater fish occurring in Central Europe.

  • special dioramas and show cases on the animals and plants of Thuringia in different habitats

  • several dioramas illustrate riverine landscapes

  • information and specimens illustrating aspects of species conservation

  • guided tours

  • a splendid view from overlooking the "Orla” valley and the typical landscape

  • from autumn 2008 there are European Bisons in an enclosure about 800 m from the AZT in Ranis

Literature, Publications

Several information brochures, books, journals, posters and souvenirs are for sale at the AZT.

We consider the book "Thüringer Tierwelt" (on the animals of Thuriniga – in German) of special interest, as it explains facts on habitats, occurrences, ways of living, endangerment and protection of animals in Thuringia on the basis of the current scientific knowledge.

Price: 10 EUR plus mailing expenses

Booklet: "Persönlichkeiten der Naturforschung und des Naturschutzes in Thüringen "

(in German – on the people who contributed considerably to research on nature and nature conservation in Thuringia)

Price: 3 EUR plus mailing expenses


"Artenschutzreport" (since 1991, 1-2 issues per year)

Original research articles and short communications on research and problems in zoological and botanic species conservation in Central Europe. Articles in German or English.

Price: 15 EUR plus mailing expenses; issue 1-20: 5 EUR each; issues 14, 17, 19, 21, 26 not available any more

"Säugetierkundliche Informationen" (since 1977; 2 issues per year since 2004)

Original research articles and short communications mainly on European mammals, and faunistic studies concerning mammals. Articles mainly in German but some in English.

Price: 11 EUR plus mailing expenses; issue 1-9 not available any more; issue 10-24: 5 EUR each

"Acta ornithoecologica" (since 1985; 1 issue per year)

Original research articles and short communications in ornithology with a clear aspect of ecology. Articles in German or English.

Price: 12 EUR plus mailing expenses; all issues still available, issue 1-4: 5 EUR each

Some issues from the Series "Natur- und Kulturlandschaft"

Research articles and short communications on landscape ecology, habitat protection and ecological aspects of species conservation in a comprehensive view. Articles in German or English.

1997 Vom Waldinnensaum zur Hecke – Natur- und Kulturlandschaft 2

Price: 7 EUR plus mailing expenses

1999 Europäische Landschaftsentwicklung mit großen Weidetieren. Geschichte, Modelle und Perspektiven. – Natur- und Kulturlandschaft 3

Price: 7 EUR plus mailing expenses

2001 Neue Modelle zu Maßnahmen der Landschaftsentwicklung mit großen Pflanzenfressern. Praktische Erfahrungen bei der Umsetzung. – Natur- und Kulturlandschaft 4

Price: 7 EUR plus mailing expenses

2002 Planung contra Evolution?  Über Evolution und Landschaftsentwicklung in Mitteleuropa. – Natur- und Kulturlandschaft 5

Price: 7 EUR plus mailing expenses

Orders to the editorial office of each Journal:



Thymianweg 25, 07745 Jena, Germany  

E-Mail: ag-artenschutz@freenet.de



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