Helping wheatears, butterflies on Texel island


This is a northern wheatear video.

Translated from a 10 September 2015 blog post by warden Jitske Esselaar on Texel island in the Netherlands:

At work for the northern wheatear in the Eierland Dunes

Today, 30 employees of BirdLife in the Netherlands have turfed about 15 slopes in the Eierland Dunes in the northern part of Texel. These are small patches of about 5 x 5 meters, where the vegetation has been removed.

The purpose of this turfing is to bring back bare sand and the removal of high grasses. On the barren sand different plants can germinate again, for example dune pansy and heath dog-violet. This kind of vegetation is important for wheatears looking for food here. The Eierland dunes are an important breeding ground for wheatears. In 2015, no fewer than 30 breeding pairs were counted, this is a great number for this species which has declined sharply!

For three rare Texel butterfly species bare sand patches are important as well. The dark green fritillary, Queen of Spain fritillary and Niobe fritillary lay their eggs on violets.

Water in Texel dunes: here.

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