Deutsche Bahn has "hired" water buffalo to transform a former military base into a marsh. | © DB AG / German Roamers / Leo Thomas

Nature conservation

Forests and meadows are drying out, insects are disappearing, and diverse plant and animal species are facing extinction. Over the past few years, there has been a serious decline in the variety of plants and animals in the world around us. Our ecosystem is suffering.

At Deutsche Bahn, we are committed to tackling this development. We know that increasing rail traffic volumes also means expanding and upgrading our infrastructure. And it is not always possible to avoid interfering with nature in the process.
 

Tracks and other rail facilities happen to offer certain plants and animals a perfect habitat. As a company, we feel that we have an obligation to them as biodiversity is something that deserves protection. With the Green Transformation, we are therefore working on sustainable solutions for a diverse ecosystem. We are specifically committed to the diversity and conservation of animal and plant species. 

We create habitats

Whenever we have to disturb the environment to create new rail facilities, we also create new habitats. Goats, wild horses and water buffalos help us by grazing selected sites so that rare plants and animals can thrive there.

We relocate when necessary

When working on our rail facilities, we take great care not to harm any plants or animals, and we sometimes even temporarily move them to a new home to keep them safe and sound. We have done this with a number of species, such as sand lizards, bats and natterjack toads.
 

Heck cattle and wisent, or European bison, are perfect for landscape maintenance.
Heck cattle and wisent, or European bison, are perfect for landscape maintenance.
About a dozen Heck cattle keep the meadows at the Aschaffenburg natural heritage site in ideal condition.
About a dozen Heck cattle keep the meadows at the Aschaffenburg natural heritage site in ideal condition.
Wild horses help Deutsche Bahn preserve habitats.
Wild horses help Deutsche Bahn preserve habitats.
Prewalski's horses graze land near Aschaffenburg, making sure that these areas do not become overgrown.
Prewalski's horses graze land near Aschaffenburg, making sure that these areas do not become overgrown.
Deutsche Bahn has "hired" water buffalo to transform a former military base into a marsh.
Deutsche Bahn has "hired" water buffalo to transform a former military base into a marsh.
Other animals have a home thanks to the water buffalo. This is good for the environment and for DB's eco-account.
Other animals have a home thanks to the water buffalo. This is good for the environment and for DB's eco-account.
Deutsche Bahn is one of Germany's largest forest owners.
Deutsche Bahn is one of Germany's largest forest owners.
No human intervention has disturbed the development of Elmer Wald forest in eastern Hesse.
No human intervention has disturbed the development of Elmer Wald forest in eastern Hesse.
A herd of wisent has moved into the site of a former munitions factory near Münster.
A herd of wisent has moved into the site of a former munitions factory near Münster.
The site is now mostly wooded, but the animals ensure that bushes do not overwhelm the remaining open spaces.
The site is now mostly wooded, but the animals ensure that bushes do not overwhelm the remaining open spaces.

We protect specific species 

We take conservation even further, however. We have established many different measures that focus on the wellbeing of a single species, such as bees, peregrine falcons and Apollo butterflies.

Since 2010, we have implemented over 38,000 nature and wildlife conservation activities. And with the help of a newly developed geodata system, we will soon be even better equipped to support nature conservation. In this way, we are making our contribution to a diverse ecosystem – today and in the future.