• Nature Conservation
  • Rural Development
  • Communication

LIFE Network Danube Plus

Ornithological studies

Riverine landscapes are constantly reshaped by the dynamics of flowing rivers, as stones and soil are eroded, transported away and deposited elsewhere. In many places, this dynamic has been lost due to bank obstructions and dams, which is why certain habitats such as sparsely vegetated gravel areas or sandy quarry banks have become rare. Accordingly, highly specialised bird species such as the Little Ringed Plover or the Sand Martin, which are dependent on such structures, have also declined sharply in numbers and are increasingly colonising alternative habitats such as gravel and rubble pits.

As part of the LIFE Network Danube Plus project, the energy company VERBUND has built a fish migration corridor in the area of the Danube power plant Altenwörth. The 12.5 km long, continuous and dynamic bypass arm on the left bank of the Danube creates a connection for fish from the tailwater of the Altenwörth Danube power plant to the Altenwörth reservoir. This renaturation measure also creates new habitats for bird life. 

In order to be able to assess the effects of the renaturalised areas on the avifauna in detail, suske consulting is carrying out standardised ornithological surveys between 2022 and 2026. Initial results from the 2022 breeding season show that the newly created gravel banks are well accepted by Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. Common Kingfisher and Sand Martin have established their breeding holes in the newly created bank break-offs and successfully raised their offspring.

Back to overview