Expected results

LIFE WILDisland is a unique opportunity for concerted action by a transnational consortium for Danube-wide improvement and restoration of alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae). Across all Danube countries, in total, 34 islands will be restored, with direct positive impact on 91E0* habitats on 1,267 ha.

The project provides for the following overall results:

  • Establish Danube-wide cooperation: 3,000 river-km, 15 partners, 8 Danube countries;

  • Preserve 147 WILDislands to strengthen ecological connectivity;

  • Promote 14,000 ha of wilderness;

  • Re-dynamize waterbodies (48 km), restore floodplains (1,444 ha);

Direct conservation:

  • Restore 91E0* alluvial forests on 102 ha through the implementation of three island restoration measures in Upper Danube sections heavily impacted by hydropower;

  • Implement five ecological engineering projects and optimize Grey Infrastructure (navigation), resulting in the revitalization of river dynamics and restoration of the hydrological regime for 91E0* alluvial forests of 437 ha in close cooperation with waterway administrations;

  • Restore 6 islands and habitats of 91E0* on 376 ha in the Middle and Lower Danube through sediment management.

  • Restore 351,9 ha of 91E0* alluvial forests through transformation of hybrid poplar plantations, reforestation, and invasive alien species management in cooperation with the forestry sector;

Policy and awareness:

  • Develop the conservation strategy and prepare the multilateral WILDisland RAMSAR Regional Initiative for the WILDisland habitat corridor (147 islands Cat. A), with new (strictly) protected areas on 196,7 ha

  • Deliver best-practice example for transnational cooperation: 9 Protected Areas, actions covering 39 Natura 2000 sites;

  • Help provide better protection for some 900 islands across more than 138,000 ha;

  • Raise awareness for pristine nature in Europe, through a Danube-wide campaign, reaching >8 Million people to also enhances the visibility of the Natura 2000 network.