Monitoring sites

Dunajské luhy, Slovakia

1
2
3
4
5
6

Site features

The site represents section of the Danube River and its floodplain in Slovakia along the Hungarian border – system of Danube branches (“inland delta”). The size of the site is size 14,488 ha. The site includes a network of tributaries, oxbow lakes, sand and gravel banks, floodplains, floodplain forest, reedbeds, marshes, and low-lying meadows. The floodplains represent the most valuable source of drinking water aquifers in Central Europe. The area is important for its diverse flora and fauna and especially for staging waterbirds. Human activities include forestry, recreation, and fishing. 

In the past, the Danube inland delta represented one of the largest and most diverse natural wetland complexes in Central Europe. Large parts of it have been damaged or disturbed during last decades; the construction of the waterworks at Gabčíkovo represents the main former impact due to diverging main part of water to artificial channel that changed the water regime of the site fundamentally. Presently habitat loss and destruction continues as a result of former river regulations and poor area management. 

Ecosystem

The Danube River and its side canals, sand and gravel banks, reed beds, floodplain forests, oxbow lakes, swamps and other wetlands dependant on high groundwater level and periodical floods. Forest communities of Saliceto-Alnetum, Querceto-Fraxinetum, Ulmetum populum, Ulmeto-Fraxinetum carpinetum. There is a wide variety of plant species in a relatively small territory. The limiting factor for most of the plant species is the hydrological regime of the Danube River. zoologically the area is the zone of steppe and alluvial forests with typical representatives of the fauna of steppes of southwestern Europe and Asia. It is also a significant resting bird´s area. 

Facts & Figures

Site size : 14,488 ha

Size of Landscape Protected Area: 122,8 km²

Year of Ramsar site designation : 1993

Overlap of Ramsar site and Natura 2000 site (SPA) : 93.5%

Location

Slovakia, Podunajska nizina lowland, size 14,488 ha , 47.8855692N, 17.5018731E 

Size

The restoration activities were and are implemented in different project and different locations in the site. In total they affect about 40% of the territory. 

This exceptional area belongs to the largest inland deltas in Central Europe, is a representative and rare example of a natural and close to nature type of wetland with a large number of rare and vulnerable species of plants and animals and the occurrence of more than 20,000 water birds. 

Existing projects

Several projects of Programmes LIFE, Interreg, and Norvegian funds.

Currently are running projects LIFE20 NAT/AT/000063 WILDisland, LIFE Living Rivers, LIFE18 NAT/AT/000733 Dynamic LIFE Lines Danube, LIFE BeeSandFish, LIFE21-IPE-SK-Living Rivers (2023-2032), 

Previous restoration efforts

Rich and diverse restoration and protection activities focused to habitats, species and groups of species. Activities to restore water dynamics, lateral connectivity, removal of invasive species, restoration of wetland habitats were implemented in Interreg project DANUBEparksCONNECTED and many LIFE projects: e.g. LIFE14 NAT/SK/001306 Restoration and management of Danube floodplain habitats, LIFE12 NAT/SK/001137, LIFE17 NAT/SK/000621 LIFE Microtus II, LIFE12 NAT/SK/001137 Restoration of nesting and feeding habitats of Sand Martin, Kingfisher and European Bee-eater in Danube-Morava region, LIFE 10 NAT/SK/080 Restoration of NATURA 2000 sites in cross-border Bratislava capital region, LIFE07 NAT/SK/000707 Danube Birds Conservation. 

This gives the site big demonstration potential and offers also possibility both to continue in existing monitoring activities and set new monitoring including remote sensing. 

Restore4life upcoming monitoring activities

The monitoring activities will be focused to site biodiversity, floodplain land use and habitat distribution, to forest conditions and provision of ecosystem services. Special attention will be paid to monitoring of plant invasions. The biodiversity of the site will be monitored using the citizen scie

Involvement of the community

The local community will be involved especially to the biodiversity monitoring, using methods of the citizen science. The local communities will improve their knowledge of plant and animal species living in wetlands. Other parameters to be monitored by citizen science are considered – e.g. monitoring of water dynamics or water quality. Special attention will be paid to cooperation with schools and the citizen science activities will be implemented in framework of the environmental education. 

Expected Impact

 

We expect that the monitoring will provide data on biodiversity, habitats distribution, forest conditions and provision of ecosystem services. This data could be used by municipalities, regional government, land users, nature conservation authorities, and planners. 

 

Site gallery