Golf courses can be suitable habitats for numerous species of birds. Surveys by the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach at the golf facilities of Andermatt, Holzhäusern, Oberkirch, Leuk and Hildisrieden show that the great variety of birds and other animal species on golf courses with generous ecological offsetting expanses is often greater that in surrounding areas. It is even possible for rare species to be specifically encouraged.
In early March 2020, Swiss Golf and the Ornithological Institute agreed to support each other, and to exchange experiences around encouraging the variety of species on golf courses. Both the Ornithological Institute and Swiss Golf are convinced that golf course habitats can be improved even further for birds and the diversity of species in general.
Golf facilities which are members of the Swiss Golf umbrella organisation can turn to the expertise of the Ornithological Institute for any questions on protecting and supporting the bird world. Every golf course must be judged as an individual case on the strength of its individual condition. A list of the breeding and migratory birds species present or even an inventory (number of pairs per species) is a valuable basis for this. If ornithologists would like to draw up lists of species or even carry out an inventory of breeding birds on golf courses, the Ornithological Institute is prepared to support them. Volunteer ornithologists can also advise golf facility managers on where it would be useful to put up (additional) nesting boxes for birds, and which kinds.
However, the upkeep of the course by the greenkeepers remains decisive for the animal world on a golf course, in particular the way in which the non-playing surface areas are organised and tended (ecological offsetting areas).