The Battert in the northwest of the Black Forest is a popular climbing area, many traditional routes are located here on the Badener Wand. In order to protect the peregrine falcon's nesting sites there, the regional council in Karlsruhe is planning to close the wall for climbers. The Alpine Club and the Black Forest Club are opposed to this and are demanding a compromise

Protected peregrine falcons breed on the Badener Wand in the northwest of the Black Forest. In order to avoid disturbing the animals, the regional council of Karlsruhe is planning a complete closure of the climbing area. Individual hiking trails and the Felsenbrücke viewpoint are also to be closed. This goes too far for the Alpine Club and the Black Forest Club, they demand a compromise between species protection and climbing. The decision should be made this week.

In 2004, the peregrine falcons returned to the Baden wall. In 2020, at least three fledged young falcons were counted. Are the climbers responsible for the fact that the peregrine falcon breeds rather sparsely on the Battert, as the Karlsruhe regional council assumes?

Climbing vs species protection - a contribution by the SWR

Year-round lockdown is overdrawn

In addition to the Climbing and Nature Conservation Working Group, the Baden-Württemberg State Association of the German Alpine Association also considers a year-round closure of the Badener Wand to be excessive - and not necessary for reasons of nature conservation.

In Baden-Württemberg, there has been a rule since 1990 that during the breeding season of falcons or eagle owls, climbing on the rocks in question is not permitted from the beginning of the year until the end of July. This principle would now be ignored by the state authority.

“The Badener Wand is about more than a climbing rock. The compatibility of species protection interests and climbing needs is in Baden-Württemberg before the acid test. »

Dieter Porsche, Chairman of the Baden-Württemberg State Association.
The Falkenwand is the highest face in the Battert, photo Panico Alpinverlag Ronald Nordmann
The Falkenwand is the highest wall in the Battert. Picture: Panico Alpinverlag/Ronald Nordmann

suggestions for compromise

In cooperation with the volunteers on site, the DAV has submitted proposals to the regional council on how the peregrine falcons can be better protected and how climbing routes can continue to be kept open.

The DAV is committed to a temporary closure of the entire Badener Wand in the state-wide period from 1.1. until 31.7. a. Only part of the wall has been blocked so far. However, the end of the closed period should be adapted to the course of the breeding season, as is the case elsewhere.

What is the reason for the low breeding success?

In order to shut down the climbing routes on the Badener Wand during this period, the lower climbing hooks are to be screwed down so that they cannot be used. In addition, the volunteers from the local associations want to take part in the control and inform climbers about the necessity of the closure.

Monitoring is to be set up to check the success of the measures - and to track down the causes of the low breeding success. In other areas, wildlife cameras have spotted foxes and eagle owls robbing peregrine falcon nesting sites.

The proposals from AKN and DAV are also based on a report by the Radolfzell ornithological station, which was commissioned by the regional council.

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Credits: Cover picture Panico Alpinverlag/Ronald Nordmann, text media release DAV

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10 replies to "Species protection vs climbing: Badener Wand is threatened with complete closure"

  1. When the climbers give the supposed conservationists their little finger, they immediately take their whole hand. It's slowly enough with climbing bans everywhere. Climbing is booming, more and more people are pushing out of the hall onto the rock. Most rocks - especially the easy ones - are already crowded. Further lockdowns will further exacerbate the problem. The correct answer would be the development of further rocks (or those that were still allowed to be climbed 30 years ago).
    Dear climbers, please understand that although we also love nature, in practice we have no common ground with nature conservation. Nature “protectors” just want to lock everyone out. A stay in nature is not intended by the so-called nature conservation. Please stop cooperating with such prohibition organizations

    1. Hello Peter
      The problem usually does not lie directly with the nature conservation organizations or authorities, but rather with their ignorance about climbing in general and its effects in particular. As well as the possible position of power of individuals in these circles.
      Cooperation with nature conservation groups is essential and makes sense, but a clear edge must also be shown when individual exponents agitate against climbing.

      1. Hi Patrick,
        the position of power also arises from the fact that all clubs surrender half the year in anticipatory obedience. If I look at the Danube valley, for example...there are hundreds of rocks here and a good 30 can be climbed, some of which are very thinned out and temporarily closed. No one can seriously argue that rare birds have no place. Even if 50 rocks are climbed all year round. This is not due to ignorance but pure ignorance and misinformation by so-called conservationists who prefer to see nature only on television

        1. I agree with you 100%! In the Basel Jura, climbers climb 20 meters next to broods of falcons.
          In a climbing area, the closure time was officially increased to half a year, and an observation post for animal lovers was built on the opposite slope. Since then, no more breedings have taken place there... Of course, it never occurs to anyone whether the observation level can have an influence...

        2. "Anticipatory obedience" I agree with you 100%! In the Basel Jura, climbers climb 20 meters next to broods of falcons.
          In a climbing area, the closure time was officially increased to half a year, and an observation post for animal lovers was built on the opposite slope. Since then, no more breedings have taken place there... Of course, it never occurs to anyone whether the observation level can have an influence...

  2. Dear climbers, you are not nature conservationists but nature benefactors and a disruptive factor that is further driving the extinction of species.

    1. Dear Uwe
      I have been involved in the discussion field of climbing vs. nature conservation for over 20 years. And I still don't have any really scientific studies that would in any way justify a total ban on climbing to protect nature! Whether plants, snails, microbiota or birds.

  3. Unfortunately, the Badener Wand has now been completely closed:

    "The "Badener Wand", one of 20 climbing rocks in the Battertfelsen nature reserve, will be completely calmed down as a priority area for nature conservation from January 1, 2023 and will be closed to climbing all year round - initially for the next five years. So far, people have been able to climb the wall every six months.”

    Therefore a demonstration is organized:

    Call for demonstration
    Against the complete closure of the Badener Wand for climbing
    For proportionate and contemporary nature conservation
    On 27.11/2022 XNUMX
    From 11 a.m. at Leopoldsplatz, Baden-Baden
    Bring belt and rope - we form a rope chain
    and of course your own banners, signs and ideas...

    If possible, travel by public transport!
    Limited parking in Baden-Baden.

    Organizer: Climbing and Nature Conservation Working Group Battert

  4. Without wanting to anticipate the question of the low breeding success, it is reasonable to assume that there is a connection between the decline in insects due to pesticides and the resulting decline in small birds as the main food source for peregrine falcons.
    At that time, DDT was the cause of thin eggshells in peregrine falcons in the Danube valley, but a nationwide climbing ban was pushed through by means of black-painted reports, corrupt members of the state parliament, teachers who romanticized nature conservation and now green members of the Bundestag.
    10 years ago I happened to talk to representatives of the LBV on the rock, who clearly spoke out in favor of an opening and sensible climbing regulations.
    Why that - probably because climbing has a positive effect on nature:
    Zones kept free from climbers are used by kestrels as hunting grounds and are not at all shy of climbers.
    With higher population densities through sufficient food, peregrine falcons would probably behave similarly.
    Ironically, at climbing rocks (entrances) the occurrence of rare plants (e.g. Austrian rocket) accumulates, and a clear accumulation of different species can also be seen on paths.
    As is well known, (rare) pioneer plants often settle after destruction in nature.
    Without knowing exact figures, I assume that not only the number of species, but also the absolute number of animals (not only in fields and cities, but also in the forest) is decreasing. So who, apart from man (who of course does not belong in nature) should take care of the zoochoric distribution of plants?
    Rocky outcrops with no climbing activity are increasingly becoming overgrown, and biodiversity is declining.

    In general, it can be said that the disturbances caused by climbers lead to an increase in biodiversity.
    This is not wishful thinking, but results logically and statistically when one considers that climbers cause small-scale disturbances in a large existing system, a change in the previous status and thus an increase in the variety of states.
    And don't come with me now: we want an untouched nature back, man must not disturb nature blah blah
    Nature has always been a cultural landscape, the endangered Hutewald, hedgerows, stone walls, karst.
    There is no going back to the jungle.

    In the Franconian there was an investigation, from the species diversity in the last X?? years has increased.

    So what's the point?
    Is not climbed enough - definitely!
    Is too much wheat being grown – probably not.
    Does Bayer earn too much from crop protection – definitely (there are other solutions).
    Is agriculture above Schaufels/Dachstein (and Badener Wand?) fertilizer/herbicide-free – definitely not.
    Does the local population earn more from compensation payments for nature parks than from nature-friendly (including climbing) tourism - definitely (at least decision-makers).

    So what's the point?
    It is up to us, to the system, to system-critical employers, energy suppliers, BASF, MB, MAN, the pressure, what is, what was, what we want, should, may.

    Helau, Alaaf, Kille Kille Wau...

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