On October 18th 2021 a joint team from the Donau-Auen National Park, Austria together with colleagues from BROZ, Slovakia visited one of the Austrian project sites of Schwalbeninsel.
The trip was made with kayaks, starting from Wildungsmauer, Austria downstream to the border with Slovakia. The aim of the visit was to present successful practices in bank restoration and hydrological regime improvement already completed at Wolfsthal Island as well as discuss the up-coming steps, provided within the LIFE WILDisland project on the Schwalbeninsel.
Schwalbeninsel is among the most beautiful islands in the Upper Danube. Together with the large gravel banks and with the smaller islands upstream (in the groyne field) it represents an important site for characteristic animals and plants of a dynamic river. Natural riparian vegetation, showing a very nice gradient from gravel banks to willow bushes and to natural and pristine softwood stands.
However, due to river regulation, ongoing sediment processes limit the habitat quality, the island character is getting lost.
This is why the LIFE WILDislands project provides for the removal of the embankment on 2 km, removal of all infrastructure on the island and adaptation of the groynes induce large-scale river dynamics and form a highly dynamic island landscape, including natural banks and softwood forests. The action will be carried out by viadonau, supported by the Donau-Auen National Park.
For more information, please check the project site factsheet.