Species Protection Days 2023


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 1-3 September, at the information stand of the Donau-Auen National Park (Austria).

For three days, the zoo, together with 30 animal, nature and species protection organizations, offered visitors the opportunity to learn interesting facts about endangered species and species protection activities. From demonstrations by the Austrian Customs Species Detection Dogs to face painting for children, there was something for everyone! At our WILDisland stand kids could spin our fortune wheel, answer a qestion and win great prizes. Additionally, those who filled a collection passport with correct answers from 10 stations from the riddle rally were rewarded with a small gift at the exit of the zoo.

Our 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. At the same time we see that sendimentation and loss of river dynamics leads to changes in the vegtation structure and decreases the number of characteristic species.

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

The event takes place at Schönbrunn Zoo for the 17th 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.