Amazon of Europe | WWF

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AMAZON OF EUROPE

© Goran Šafarek / WWF

Extending through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia, the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers form one of the great wetlands of the world – the Amazon of Europe.

WHERE THREE RIVERS MEET

Flowing through five countries, the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers form a 700km-long green belt connecting almost a million hectares of unique terrain with significant natural and cultural heritage, which will become the world´s first five-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (TBR MDD).

Despite numerous human-made changes, this stunning river landscape hosts amazing biological diversity and boasts a range of rare habitats – large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sand banks, side branches and oxbows. These habitats are home to the largest population of white-tailed eagles in Europe and provide shelter for other endangered species such as the little tern, black stork, beaver, otter and some vulnerable fish species like the sterlet.

Although the river and floodplain areas are vital to local communities, traditional river management practices, embankments, shortening of watercourses, extraction of gravel and sand from the riverbed and new hydropower developments are threatening the natural values of the Amazon of Europe.

Did you know?

The Amazon of Europe will be the first protected area in the world managed across five countries.

© Andrija Vrdoljak

WHAT WE'RE DOING

To successfully manage such a large protected area, it is necessary to have effective joint management measures. Our work on the Amazon of Europe is focused on ensuring good cross-border cooperation by linking the relevant institutions in all five countries.

Although it is not easy to change traditional water management in a short time, we are making efforts to implement various nature-based solutions, benefiting habitats and species and contributing to better flood protection and increasing the recreational value of the area for people.

In the Amazon of Europe, we focus not only on conservation but also on the sustainable and nature-friendly development of the entire area. This would be impossible without working with local communities, whose involvement and needs are at the core of what we do.

Every year, more than 250.000 waterfowl stop in the Amazon of Europe to rest and feed before they continue on their journey south.

© M. Romulić

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Stay up to date with WWF’s work and support us! Only together can we preserve such a wonderful area as the Amazon of Europe.

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