Untere March-Auen - Restoration of the Lower Morava floodplains

LIFE10 NAT/AT/000015

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Franz STEINER
Tel: +43 50 4321 2611
Email: franz.steiner@via-donau.org

Project description:


The project is based on the trans-national contracted action plan of the bilateral general project, the management plan for the Natura 2000 site "Morava-Dyje floodplains", and the management strategy of the nature reserve "Lower Moravia floodplains". It will build on the experiences and findings of a previous LIFE Nature project to ensure a sustainable implementation. The measures already carried out will be also applied to adjacent areas.


The project's overall aim is to restore near-natural river dynamics in the Lower Moravia floodplains in the eastern part of Austria. Today the river bed is regulated, the connection of 36 oxbows to the river are cut off and 75% of the banks are reinforced. The project will restore floodplains and foster land-use practices that preserve biodiversity and endangered species and habitats. Project actions will improve the conservation status of EU Habitats Directive habitats such as floodplain forests and floodplain meadows, as well as of a wide variety of Habitats Directive species including the fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina), Danube crested newt (Triturus dobrogicus), European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), European weatherfish (Misgurnus fossilis), Green snaketail (Ophiogomphus cecilia), red and black kite (Milvus spp.) and common tern (Sterna hirundo).

In total, the project measures will affect an area of at least 200 ha, improving the conservation status of seven habitat types and 11 species included on the Annexes of the Habitats Directive, and 15 species listed in the EU Birds Directive.

Expected results:

    • Renaturalisation of the river banks along a stretch of 6 km, where potential areas for characteristic river bank formations such as sandbanks, escarpments, and alluvial forests will be generated. Additionally, 4 km of river branches will be revitalised and 16 ha restored through a national programme;
    • Improvement of cross-linking of areas through the removal of barriers in at least five spots. As a result, 25 km of near-natural streamed river branches will be created;
    • Protection of at least 10 floodplain water bodies in the outer floodplains, which will create good conditions for target species in an area of some 20 ha;
    • Extension of cultivation, which will improve and secure a total of 65 ha of ecologically significant open landscape habitats;
    • Reintroduction of grazing management, which constitutes a pilot project for the improvement of habitat structures;
    • Improvement of habitat conditions of floodplain forests at the river banks by river restoration works and by controlling invasive plants such as box elder (Acer negundo);
    • Improvement in the conservation status of six representative target species and three types of habitats of Community interest through specific supporting measures; and
    • Greater acceptance of conservation measures through specific information and environmental education in four municipalities. Land users and stakeholders will be directly involved in the project implementation.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Freshwater


protected area‚  renaturation‚  river

Target species

 Alcedo atthis   Bombina bombina   Ciconia ciconia   Ciconia nigra   Crex crex   Emys orbicularis   Gobio albipinnatus   Gymnocephalus schraetzer   Haliaeetus albicilla   Lanius collurio   Milvus migrans   Milvus milvus   Misgurnus fossilis   Nycticorax nycticorax   Ophiogomphus cecilia   Philomachus pugnax   Porzana porzana   Rhodeus sericeus amarus   Sterna hirundo   Tringa glareola   Triturus dobrogicus   Unio crassus   Zingel zingel   

Target Habitat types

  • 6440 - Alluvial meadows of river valleys of the Cnidion dubii
  • 91E0 - "Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)"
  • 3130 - Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoëto-Nanojuncetea
  • 3150 - Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation
  • 3270 - Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation

Natura 2000 sites

SCI AT1202000 March-Thaya-Auen
SPA AT1202V00 March-Thaya-Auen



Coordinator via donau – Österreichische Wasserstraßen-Gesellschaft mbH
Type of organisation Public enterprise
Description Via donau, which was established in 2005 by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, is tasked with the maintenance and development of the Danube waterway. It is also responsible for ecological river-engineering and re-naturalisation projects. These projects aim to restore the river to its natural course and create new habitats for animals and plants.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE10 NAT/AT/000015
Duration 01-OCT-2011 to 01-MAR -2020
Total budget 3,491,774.00 €
EU contribution 1,745,887.00 €
Project location Niederösterreich(Österreich)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Video link "LIFE+ Untere March-Auen Informationsvideo" (6')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version