Numerous Red List plants on the Andermatt golf course

February 19, 2024

Botanist Elisabeth Danner and natural scientist Heinz Bolzern have come to the conclusion that ‘the flora of the Andermatt Golf Course is remarkably diverse, rare and beautiful’. The two experts were employed by the Expert Commission for Ecology of the golf course to conduct a survey of the vegetation on the golf grounds. In recording the flora, they discovered ten Red List species.

In order to record the various plants, Heinz Bolzern and Elisabeth Danner visited the Andermatt Golf Course on several occasions. They examined the original and extensively used parts of the golf course as well as parts that have been left untouched. In doing so, they concentrated on a contiguous extensive wilderness area in the western and northern parts of the site, covering a total area of approximately 34 hectares. In particular, three sections in the primarily arid slope zone and one section in the humid and wet lowlands were analysed. The study was approached from a floristic and a phytosociological perspective.

Floristically speaking, the analysis mainly involved recording all Red List species and all orchid species. Orchids were also included, since all orchid species are protected throughout Switzerland. The habitats of all Red List species were surveyed and populations were recorded. From a phytosociological point of view, the various plant communities in the study site were identified and described in terms of their dissemination and quality.

The results of the analysis

In the area studied, Bolzern and Danner found ten species currently included in the Red List. Their localities are all in the northern part, either in the slope zone or in the floodplain and fen areas. The distribution of the endangered Heath rush (Juncus squarrosus) is particularly noteworthy. This species can be found across a total area of approximately 150 m², and in some places it coexists with other Red List species. With regard to vegetation, altogether 37 different phytosociological groups were identified (according to Delarze et al.). An impressive 23 of them are currently included in the Red List of Habitats of Switzerland.

Overview.Red List species

Species name EnglishSpecies name LatinRed List status
Shortawn foxtailAlopecurus aequalisVulnerable (VU)
Water foxtailAlopecurus geniculatusVulnerable (VU)
Hare’s-tail cottongrassEriophorum vaginatumNear Threatened (NT)
Heath rushJuncus squarrosusEndangered (EN)
Red sandspurrySpergularia rubraNear Threatened (NT)
Round-leaved sundewDrosera rotundifoliaVulnerable (VU)
English sundewDrosera anglicaVulnerable (VU)
Purple marshlocksPotentilla palustrisNear Threatened (NT)
Marsh lousewortPedicularis palustrisNear Threatened (NT)
Drug eyebrightEuphrasia strictaNear Threatened (NT)

Species detected in the studied area, with Red List status RL ≥ NT, according to the 2016 national Red List and the 2019 regional Red List (Central Eastern Alps region).

Back in 2007, when plans for the golf area were first drawn up, the Expert Commission for Ecology established the requirements for designing and managing these areas, which are of great value for nature conservation. To conclude, it can be said that compared to previous studies, all species important for nature conservation are present and that a well-established community of formative, small-area and rare plants exists.

Andermatt Golf Course

The 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course is ecologically designed and operates in an environmentally friendly way. It meets or exceeds all criteria of the World Golf Environmental Organization (GEO) in the areas of nature conservation, resource management and social integration, and for this reason has been GEO-certified for four years. In addition, it has been awarded the Swisstainable Leading label by Switzerland Tourism. Roughly three-quarters of the site is devoted to extensive agriculture and used as ecological compensation areas, including the cantonal nature reserve of Bäz. A number of studies have shown that biodiversity in the region has increased since the golf course was established.

Andermatt Swiss Alps AG – Welcome home.

Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, with registered office in Andermatt, plans, builds, and develops the year-round destination of Andermatt. In 2009 Andermatt Reuss came into being, with apartment buildings, hotels, and villas. The Andermatt Swiss Alps Group owns the The Chedi Andermatt and Radisson Blu Reussen hotels, the holiday apartments Andermatt Alpine Apartments, an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course and the Andermatt Concert Hall. A close partnership is in place with Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG (Andermatt-Sedrun mountain railways, various restaurants, the Swiss Snowsports School Andermatt and the sport shop Gleis 0) and its majority shareholder Vail Resorts, Inc. for developing the destination. Vail Resorts, the largest operator of ski resorts, and Andermatt Swiss Alps are together pursuing the vision of becoming The Prime Alpine Destination. In doing so, they are committed to an intact environment and a sustainable future that will enable coming generations to have an extraordinary home. During high season, Andermatt Swiss Alps and Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG have more than 1,000 employees working at the locations in Altdorf, Andermatt and Sedrun.

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