Work is ongoing not only in the construction and erection base and in the licensing of the Paks II. investment, but also the related nature conservation tasks are progressing well. The diverse activities required by the environmental license include the protection of protected animal and plant species. To this end, the experts have previously set up two shelter areas in the vicinity of the investment, where the artificial bird and bat nests are regularly inspected and count the bird species that appear in the area. In addition to this, more bat nests have been deployed into the shelter this year, and the resettlement of reptiles and amphibians has continued, and work has continued in the northern refuge to preserve and maintain the internationally significant open sandy grassland.
Habitat types and species occurring only in the territory of Hungary, the so-called “pannonics”, the protection of the Pannonian sand lawn in the northern shelter area has been a priority since the start of the investment.
The protection of the community is mainly justified by the fact that one of the characteristic plant species of the Pannonian sandy grasslands, the orphan maidenhair, is represented in a relatively larger number in the area. In the late spring–early summer and early October periods of 2021, experts identified 66 plant species in the nature conservation-prioritized sandy grassland association in the northern shelter area, and the biodiversity of the sandy grassland community increased compared to the previous year. In the plant community, the area occupied by the protected orphan maidenhair widened in the southern part of the shelter area, and the individual density of the protected plant was massive in a part of the shelter area. Another protected species in the area, centaurea arenaria, has also been confirmed. The aim of the activities carried out in the refuge was to slow down or reduce the initiated and intensifying succession processes (shrubbery, afforestation), and the elimination of invasive species also played a significant role.
The experts observed 72 bird species in 2021 at the various areas. This number is similar to the 2020 one, and is especially good. Additionally, compared to the previous years, eight highly protected bird species were observed here. Of particular note are the presence of the red kite and the Eurasian hobby in the areas, the occurrence of the Eurasian wryneck in the deployed artificial nests, and the re-spawning of the common kestrel in the deployed kestrel box in the northern shelter area. The occupancy of the deployed nests was 100% in both shelter areas, and there was an artificial shelter occupied by the hazel dormouse after the birds had nested - a protected species not encountered in the area before. Active bat colonization was detected in half of the bat nests, and 13 specimen of 3 protected species were found.
A compensatory area has been previously designated to compensate for the intervention on the Danube, which covers an area of about 0,8 hectares. In the 3,68-hectare, water-rich land designated to carry out the restoration and development task proportional to the effects on the area, aftercare was carried out after the felling last year, the reduction of the spread of green maple, the pruning could be done after 1 July due to the spawning season of the osprey nesting in the neighboring area.