LIFE Project Cover Photo

Transboundary cooperation for revitalization of riverine habitat complex in Drava region within Natura 2000 sites

Reference: LIFE13 NAT/HU/000388 | Acronym: LIFE Old-Drava



Decreasing water levels in the River Old Drava have lowered water levels in a transborder oxbow lake in a Natura 2000 network site. Due to riverbed erosion, only high floods in the river can fill up the oxbow, but the frequency of these floods is very low. There are certain periods of low precipitation, for instance, that negatively affect ecological conditions; neither the Old Drava nor the Rinya stream that feeds into it can drive enough water into the oxbow. Decreased water level, along with abandoned angling infrastructure, endangers aquatic habitats and species listed in the Habitats Directive. Action is therefore required to modify the water regime in the Danube-Drava National Park.


The main objective of the LIFE Old-Drava project is to contribute to the conservation and resilience of riparian habitats by improving the water regime, thereby preserving and enhancing biodiversity in and around an oxbow lake. Specific project actions are to:

  • Raise the water level by constructing one or two bottom weirs, which will increase the average water level of the oxbow by 0.5-1.0 m, and to construct a new channel between the riverbed of the Drava and the upper section of the Old Drava rivers;
  • Restore habitat through discharge enhancement of the oxbow, and the stabilisation of sufficient water level with water retention structures that reduce the risk to species arising from low water periods;
  • Harmonise human and nature conservation activities through campaigns, for example, targeting local anglers and requesting them to remove abandoned angling platforms and other litter from the oxbow;
  • Contribute to improving transboundary nature conservation into the future; and
  • Raise public awareness by various types of communicational tools.
  • Expected results:

  • As a result of improving water discharge, the average water level increased by 0.5-1.0 m;
  • Increased water table positively affects about 176 ha of gallery forest, along with the oxbow lake, with all aquatic habitats in better condition and extremely low water level not endangering Natura 2000 fish and bird species;
  • Abandoned angling platforms (around 30 of 117 total) removed, along with waste from the oxbow and gallery forest;
  • Guidelines published in three languages, including recommendations for cross-border administrative criteria and requirements; and
  • Around 15 000 people informed about the project, with local inhabitants’ knowledge about the floodplain’s natural value improved, to help manage and use the Natura 2000 site in a more nature-friendly manner.


    Reference: LIFE13 NAT/HU/000388
    Acronym: LIFE Old-Drava
    Start Date: 01/06/2014
    End Date: 30/04/2019
    Total Eligible Budget: 833,985 €
    EU Contribution: 623,674 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Duna-Drva Nemzeti Park Igazgatsg
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: Tettye square 9, 7625, Pcs, Hungary Magyarország
    Contact Person: Tibor PARRAG
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Freshwater


    • natural park
    • protected area
    • river
    • restoration measure


    • 3150 - Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation
    • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"


    • Aythya nyroca
    • Porzana parva
    • Milvus migrans
    • Haliaeetus albicilla
    • Egretta garzetta
    • Circus aeruginosus
    • Alcedo atthis
    • Nycticorax nycticorax
    • Ixobrychus minutus
    • Ficedula albicollis
    • Egretta alba
    • Ardea purpurea
    • Picus canus
    • Dryocopus martius
    • Dendrocopos medius
    • Lutra lutra
    • Castor fiber
    • Rhodeus sericeus amarus
    • Misgurnus fossilis
    • Cobitis taenia
    • Aspius aspius
    • Triturus dobrogicus
    • Bombina bombina
    • Emys orbicularis


    Type Code Name
    SPA HUDD10002 Nyugat-Dráva
    SCI HUDD20056 Közép-Dráva


    Name Type
    Duna-Drva Nemzeti Park Igazgatsg Coordinator
    HESSZ(Horgász Egyesületek Somogy megyei Szövetsége), Hungary Participant
    WWF Hu(WWF Hungary Foundation), Hungary Participant
    VIDRA(VIDRA - Virovitica-Podravina County's Regional Development Agency), Croatia Participant
    Juuzpv(Javna ustanova za upravljanje zaštićenim prirodnim vrijednostima Virovitičko-podravske županije (Public institution for management of protected natural values in Virovitica-podravina County)), Croatia Participant
    Pitomaca(Municipality of Pitomaca), Croatia Participant


    Type Resource
    Project web site Project's website
    Video link "Old Drava New Life 2019" (14') (