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Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor

Reference: LIFE20 NAT/AT/000063 | Acronym: LIFE WILDisland



The Danube River is a hub of biodiversity and an essential lifeline for Europe. The large number of Natura 2000 sites (over 100 on the Danube and 230 sites along its course) shows Europe's commitment to preserve this natural heritage. Over 2 000 plant and 5 000 animal species live in or by the Danube’s waters. Human intervention has resulted in the loss of around 90% of Europe’s riparian zones in the past century. Beside agriculture, the hydromorphological alteration of rivers have had the most negative effects on nature (as reported in Habitats Directive, Article 17). This points to the enormous importance of a Danube ecological corridor. Danube islands are considered flagship sites for the preservation of intact riverine habitats and make up over one-third of alluvial forests (habitat type 91E0*) surface area in Danube Natura 2000 sites.


The LIFE WILDisland project aims to conserve the priority EU Habitats Directive habitat type 91E0* (‘Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior’) by way of coordinated, Danube-wide conservation and restoration actions for the Danube islands.

The project has the following main objectives:

  • Improving the conservation status of the priority habitat 91E0* along the entire course of the Danube;
  • Restoring natural processes and river dynamics to preserve vital Danube islands as key 91E0* sites;
  • Implementing best-practice measures to transform inland waterway infrastructure into Green Infrastructure;
  • Improving conditions in 91E0* stands by best practice forest management, including control of IAS;
  • Increasing the coherence of the Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor by restoration of islands in the sections of the Danube significantly altered by hydropower;
  • Strengthening ecological connectivity and coherence of the Natura 2000 network along the Danube River by establishing the Danube-wide conservation concept;
  • Anchoring wilderness in riverine Natura 2000 sites through the preservation of pristine islands and primeval stands, and promoting non-intervention management;
  • Building bridges between EU policy and local agendas;
  • Using a multilateral approach to maximise both added value for the EU and impact on relevant EU policies.

Together with transnational stakeholders, the project intends to develop a conservation strategy and prepare the multilateral ‘WILDisland RAMSAR Regional Initiative’, with new (strictly) protected areas on 196.7 ha. The project will deliver a best-practice example for transnational cooperation. Coordinated actions in nine protected areas, covering 39 Natura 2000 sites, will increase the coherence of the Natura 2000 network along the world’s most international river, and contribute to the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive by counteracting fragmentation of alluvial forest (91E0*) sites.


Expected results:

  • Best practice island restoration in the Danube section altered by hydropower (Upper Danube)  and restoration of alluvial forests on 102 ha;
  • Improvement of hydro-morphology for habitat 91E0* through the optimisation of navigation infrastructure on 437 ha;
  • Conservation of habitat 91E0* on Danube islands by hydrology improvement and sediment management (Middle and Lower Danube) on 376 ha; and
  • Improvement of habitat type 91E0* by forest management on 352 ha.



Reference: LIFE20 NAT/AT/000063
Acronym: LIFE WILDisland
Start Date: 01/09/2021
End Date: 31/08/2027
Total Eligible Budget: 14,222,637 €
EU Contribution: 9,099,154 €


Coordinating Beneficiary: Nationalpark Donau-Auen GmbH
Legal Status: PAT
Address: Schlossplatz 1, 2304, Orth an der Donau,
Contact Person: Elena Kmetova-Biro
Email: Send Email
Website: Visit Website

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  • Freshwater
  • Invasive species


  • freshwater ecosystem
  • invasive species


  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)


  • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"


Code Name Type Version
Delta Dunării și Complexul Razim - Sinoie ROSPA0031 SPA v.2021
Klucovske rameno SKUEV0293 SCI/SAC v.2021
Donauauen zwischen Lechmündung und Ingolstadt DE7231471 SPA v.2021
Wachau - Jauerling AT1205000 SPA v.2021
Dunajske luhy SKCHVU007 SPA v.2021
Baar DE8017441 SPA v.2021
Archar BG0000497 SCI/SAC v.2021
Gemenc HUDD20032 SCI/SAC v.2021
Corabia - Turnu Măgurele ROSCI0044 SCI/SAC v.2021
Delta Dunării - zona marină ROSCI0066 SCI/SAC v.2021
Kalimok - Brashlen BG0000377 SCI/SAC v.2021
Ostrov Chayka BG0000534 SCI/SAC v.2021
Donau-Auen östlich von Wien AT1204V00 SPA v.2021
Donau-Auen östlich von Wien AT1204000 SCI/SAC v.2021
Ostrov Lakat BG0002091 SPA v.2021
Duna és ártere HUDI20034 SCI/SAC v.2021
Ostrovi Kozloduy BG0000533 SCI/SAC v.2021
Ostrov Bliznatsi BG0000532 SCI/SAC v.2021
Balta Mică a Brăilei ROSCI0006 SCI/SAC v.2021
Canaralele Dunării ROSCI0022 SCI/SAC v.2021
Coridorul Jiului ROSCI0045 SCI/SAC v.2021
Gura Vedei - Șaica - Slobozia ROSCI0088 SCI/SAC v.2021
Donau mit Jura-Hängen zwischen Leitheim und Neuburg DE7232301 SCI/SAC v.2021
Wachau AT1205A00 SCI/SAC v.2021
Szigetköz HUFH30004 SPA and SCI/SAC v.2021
Tsibar BG0000199 SCI/SAC v.2021
Persina BG0000396 SCI/SAC v.2021
Donau zwischen Riedlingen und Sigmaringen DE7922342 SCI/SAC v.2021
Donauauen zwischen Ingolstadt und Weltenburg DE7136304 SCI/SAC v.2021
Lunca Joasă a Prutului ROSCI0105 SCI/SAC v.2021
Kopački rit HR2000394 SCI/SAC v.2021
Dunaj SKUEV0393 SCI/SAC v.2021
Delta Dunării ROSCI0065 SCI/SAC v.2021
Marea Neagră ROSPA0076 SPA v.2021
Novo selo BG0000631 SCI/SAC v.2021
Lacul Brateș ROSPA0121 SPA v.2021
Balta Mică a Brăilei ROSPA0005 SPA v.2021
Dunăre - Ostroave ROSPA0039 SPA v.2021
Traun-Donau-Auen AT3114000 SPA and SCI/SAC v.2021
Batin BG0000232 SCI/SAC v.2021
Dunav - Vukovar HR2000372 SCI/SAC v.2021
Podunavlje i donje Podravlje HR1000016 SPA v.2021
Ostrov Ibisha BG0002007 SPA v.2021
Ribarnitsi Mechka BG0002024 SPA v.2021
Confluența Jiu - Dunăre ROSPA0023 SPA v.2021
Confluența Olt - Dunăre ROSPA0024 SPA v.2021
Vedea - Dunăre ROSPA0108 SPA v.2021
Karaboaz BG0000335 SCI/SAC v.2021
Béda-Karapancsa HUDD20045 SCI/SAC v.2021
Dunajske luhy SKUEV0090 SCI/SAC v.2021
Dunav S od Kopačkog rita HR2001309 SCI/SAC v.2021
Ciuperceni - Desa ROSCI0039 SCI/SAC v.2021
Béda-Karapancsa HUDD10004 SPA v.2021
Calafat - Ciuperceni - Dunăre ROSPA0013 SPA v.2021


Name Type
viadonau(via donau - Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH), Austria Participant
VHP(VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH), Austria Participant
PNPD(Persina Nature Park Directorate), Bulgaria Participant
UNIPER/DWK(Uniper Kraftwerke GmbH), Germany Participant
DINPI(Duna-Ipoly Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság), Hungary Participant
DDNPD(Duna-Dráva Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság), Hungary Participant
ADUVIZIG(Alsó-Duna-völgyi Vízügyi Igazgatóság (Lower Danube Valley Water Directorate)), Hungary Participant
FHNPD(Fertő Hanság Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság), Hungary Participant
DDBRA(Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority), Romania Participant
BROZ(Bratislavské regionálne ochranárske združenie), Slovakia Participant
JUUP KR(Javna ustanova "Park prirode Kopački rit"), Croatia Participant
HR Forests(Hrvatske šume limited liability company, Croatian Forests ltd.), Croatia Participant
Vsume(Javno Preduzede "Vojvodinašume"), Serbia Participant
Nationalpark Donau-Auen GmbH Coordinator