Riparian Ecosystem Restoration of the Lower Drava River in Slovenia (LIVEDRAVA)

The project aims to preserve and enlarge populations of species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive (birds typical for lowland rivers) and Annex II of the Habitats Directive (fishes and beetles) by managing alluvial forest habitats (Annex I, Habitats Directive) along the Lower Drava River in Slovenia. The project also aims to improve cooperation between the most important stakeholders along the river and to inform the public about the natural value of these Natura 2000 sites and the importance of their conservation.

Specific objectives include:

  • Transformation of 61 ha of former wastewater basins into a semi-natural wetland as a stopover site for migrating birds (Ormoz Basins);
  • Habitat management of forest stands to improve the status of around 15 ha of alluvial forests;
  • Establishment of a grazing system;
  • Removal of illegally built fishing and hunting platforms;
  • Creation of a new artificial breeding island;
  • Opening up and restoration of three side arms of the Drava River (total length of 1.5 km);
  • Preparation of the river banks to allow breeding by the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) and sand martin (Riparia riparia);
  • Management of gravel banks; and
  • A reduction of human disturbance.

The main quantified expected results are:

  • Population increase (and breeding success) of the little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius; 50% increase), sand martin (50-100% increase), common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos; 15% increase), kingfisher and white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) (30% increase);
  • Colonisation of new sites and population increase of the hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita), beetle (Graphoderus bilineatus), Mudminnow (Umbrakrameri) and Asp (Aspius aspius);
  • Enhancement of the habitat quality in 15 ha of priority alluvial forests;
    Increase of the breeding population of flagship species, such as the common tern (Sterna hirundo);
  • Recovery of 10 000-15 000 wintering individuals (e.g. geese roost). In this way, the SPA SI5000011 Drava will again meet IBA/SPA criteria A4iii, B1v and C4 (at least 20 000 waterbirds on a regular basis);
  • Colonisation of the area by several new breeding species included in Annex I of the Birds Directive;
  • A tenfold increase of the breeding population of globally near-threatened ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca); and
  • Permanent assignment of the nature reserve to the conservation of targeted waterbird species; the reserve will be able to offer versatile, high-quality public services, whilst the landscape park will emphasise the natural value of one of the most preserved parts of riverine landscape along the Drava River with promotion of nature-friendly land uses and activities.


Project website - in English language.

Coordinator: DOPPS  BirdLife Slovenia; partners Dravske elektrarne Maribor d.o.o. VGB Maribor d.o.o., Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, DRAVA Vodnogospodarsko podjetje Ptuj, d.d., Urban Municipality of Ptuj 

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