The small cattail is considered rare. Due to the predicament, the factory is nationally registered with the highest risk level. In the canton St. Gallen you can only find it in one place: on the banks of the Rhine at Rüthi. Even there the stock has already been decimated.
At the start of June, about 100 pistons were counted on a sandbank there, according to the press release from the Office for Nature, Hunting and Fishing. A few days later the plants were almost completely washed away. Even a small flood could sweep the remaining cattails. This would be synonymous with a local extermination of this species.
That is why measures have now been taken. Work on the banks of the Rhine has been going on since Tuesday: with more than 60 tons of stone blocks, a small bank is piled up. He should protect the dike on which the last cattail grows.
Later there would be a small gravel bank where the plants could spread again, so the hope of the experts. Whether this emergency measure is sufficient to protect the species from extinction in the long term is uncertain.
The small cattail used to be widespread on rivers throughout Europe. By focusing, only a few sandbanks formed, which were also constantly flooded by flooding or washed away. In Switzerland there are now only three natural populations. They are all along the Rhine.
The rescue operation in Rüthi is a consequence of the biodiversity strategy of the Canton of St. Gallen, which has been in force since 2018. (SDA)
Posted on 22.08.2018 | Updated 1 minute ago