In addition to the successful activities in the Strážovské vrchy, as part of the LIFE Panalp project, we also started to restore rare grass habitats in the Samll Carpathians. In the westernmost Slovak mountain range, this spring, in cooperation with the Museum of the City of Bratislava, we started grazing on the Devín Castle Rock.
Until now, grazing animals have made visitors’ stay especially pleasant in the courtyard of Devín Castle, but from now on they can also be observed on the southern slopes of the castle rampart. In places with an iconic view of the confluence of the Danube and Moravia, our herd of goats has been maintaining an extremely valuable rock steppe for several weeks. This is the only place in Slovakia where the critically endangered Austrian wormwood (Artemisia austriaca) can be found. In order to find out how this rare plant reacts to grazing, in cooperation with the Bratislava office of the Dunajské luhy Protected Landscape Area Administration, we also launched a smaller experiment, as part of which we fenced some individuals of wormwood against pasture. However, goat grazing will definitely benefit the heat-loving grass communities here. Without the necessary care, these would be overgrown with trees, in the shade of which wormwood and many other rare light-loving species would not be able to survive for a long time.