Importance of the project area for biodiversity
Once covering the vast areas of the Little Hungarian Plain between the towns of Győr and Esztergom, Pannonic sand land habitats can only be found in traces in the region, due to anthropogenic activity. Amongst these few ha patches of Pannonic sand steppes, the military owned sites nearby Győr standout with their several hundred hectares large areas, covered with fairly well preserved natural habitats.
The high natural value of the project area is supported by the fact that some parts of it are incorporated to the HUFH20009 Natura 2000 site. Most areas adjacent to the project site are habitats, which were affected significantly by human activity. These are areas of agricultural, and horticultural use, as well as settlements. It can be stated that habitats outside of the HUFH20009 Natura 2000 sites and the adjacent military owned land have lost their natural character almost irretrievably. However, the existence of the military training ranges in the Gönyü and Győrszentiván are used by Soviet and Hungarian armed forces has acted as a brake on intensification of land use for most agricultural activities, which results serving as a refuge for several rare species such as Adonis vernalis, Stipa pennata, Stipa borysthenica, Oxytropis pilosa, Dianthus serotinus, Onosma arenaria, and Gypsophila fastigiata ssp. arenaria.
The importance of project area for biodiversity is highlighted by the habitat types that occur on the project area such as Pannonic sand steppe and Pannonic inland sand dune thicket (Junipero-Populetum albae). According to the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, all of these are “habitats of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation”. All habitats are listed as priority habitats types.