LARGE VIEW PLEASE
17298 VIEWS ON *08/08/2011
FEATURED IN Wild Nature Photography & Writing
AS IS STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA (panasonic lumix dmc 7 in use with a panasonic dmw-lt 55/ 1.7 x tele conversion lens)
PHOTO MADE AT NATURE RESERVE THE OOSTVAARDERS PLASSEN THE NETHERLANDS
The Oostvaarderplassen is a nature reserve in the Netherlands. Despite its young age (it is in a polder which was only created in 1968) it already has international importance as a European wetland.The Oostvaardersplassen can be divided into two areas: wet and dry. In the wet area along the Markermeer, there are large reedbeds on clay, where moulting geese often feed. This area is also home to Great Cormorant, Common Spoonbill, Great Egret, White-tailed Eagle and Eurasian Bittern, among many other animals.
Before the establishment of the reserve, the dry area was a nursery for willow trees, and in the first year hundreds of seedlings could be found on each square metre. This led to concern that a dense woodland would develop, significantly reducing the value of the habitat for water birds. To avoid this, the park’s managers brought in a number of large herbivores to keep the area more open, including Konik horses, red deer and Heck cattle. These large grazing animals are kept out in the open all year round without supplemental feeding, and are allowed to behave as wild animals (without, for example, castrating males). The ecosystem developing under their influence is thought to resemble those that would have existed on European river banks and deltas prior to human disturbance.