WILDislands at the Species Protection Days in Schönbrunn Zoo


We sometimes forget that protecting vulnerable habitats means protecting threatened species!

As a reminder, the LIFE WILDisland was presented at the Protected Species Days of Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn held between 2-4 September, at the information stand of the Donau-Auen National Park (Austria).

Hundreds of visitors, grown-ups and children, stopped by at our information stand to spin the wheel of fortune, answer a question or a task, related to Danube and its conservation and win great prizes! Anyone could see the historic maps of the Danube and its change and answer the question of our main quizz: Why are WILD islands along the Danube important?

The prizes are already on the way to the winners, while in the meantime we hope that everyone learnt something new and excting about the Danube, its amazing species and wild islands!

Danube-wide monitoring expeditions carried out in 2021 and 2014 stressed the outstanding value of Danube islands for characteristic biodiversity. As a follow-up, the first ever inventory of all Danube islands was carried out within the Interreg DANUBEparksCONNECTED project. The study showed that the Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor comprises about 900 islands with an area of more than 138,000 ha; 385 islands can be characterized as "near-natural", of which 147 islands (14,000 ha) are still largely untouched by human use.

The inventory revealed the great values of the islands, while previous monitoring showed that 90 % of bird flagship species breed on islands – they are flagship habitats for river dynamics.

This is why WILDislands were present at the Species Protection Days in Vienna!

The event takes place at Schönbrunn Zoo for the 16th time. The animal zoo inhabitants are ambassadors for their endangered conspecifics in the wild. During the Species Protection Days, the visitors learn what the zoo is doing to protect endangered species and how we can all make a contribution.

Free guided tours on species conservation give an insight into the work behind the scenes.

In addition, more than 20 Austrian nature and species conservation organisations, such as the Donau-Auen National Park, will present their work over the three days. New this time is the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) with a focus on environmental crime.