WISEDRAVALIFE - Wise water management for the conservation of riverine and floodplain habitats along the Drava River

LIFE17 NAT/HU/000577

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Contact details:

Contact person: Gyorgy Vero
Email: gyorgy.vero@wwf.hu

Project description:


Riparian and floodplain habitats have deteriorated along the Drava river, mainly due to riverbed degradation. In particular, three types of habitat have unfavourable/inadequate conservation status: alluvial forests with black alder and common ash, water courses with vegetation or aquatic mosses, and alluvial meadows.

Riverbed incision is the most significant pressure affecting natural habitats; it has a substantial impact even on areas kilometres away from the river. Additional threats, such as drainage and lack of water on the floodplain, have also been identified along the Drava. Improper land use can negatively affect water-related species or bird populations. Climate change also impacts freshwater habitats along the river.


WISEDRAVALIFE aims to improve the conservation status and resilience of the three riparian habitats - alluvial forests, water courses and alluvial meadows - on the Croatian-Hungarian stretches of the Drava river. The project will take action to improve the water regime and biodiversity of the riparian forests, restore habitats and control invasive alien species. It also aims to apply new approaches to combat riverbed degradation. Through its work, WISEDRAVALIFE will contribute to the implementation of EU legislation, namely the Birds, Habitats, Water Framework and Flood directives.

Specific objectives:

  • Assessment of the root causes of riverbed incision along the Drava river;
  • Provide solutions/implement area-specific measures to combat riverbed degradation and to improve the conservation status of the habitats targeted;
  • Integration of project results into national and European policies.
  • Expected results:

  • Redesign of existing river regulation structures (in at least three locations within the project area);
  • Reconnection of one side branch to the Drava river;
  • Construction of five bottom weirs to improve the water retention capacity of Lankoc Forest and installation of three sluices on side channels of the Dombo watercourse, improving water supply in the forest;
  • Purchase of land (almost 45 ha) in Lankóc Forest to overcome conflicts of interest between landowners and nature conservation management bodies;
  • Improved ecological condition of habitats in Lankóc Forest (on over 500 ha);
  • Elimination of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a non-native tree species covering more than half of a wooded area in Gyékényes, and planting of young forest;
  • Installation of black stork nests and bat boxes; and
  • Development of recommendations for harmonising the management plans of river basin, flood risk and Natura 2000 areas.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Freshwater
Habitats - Forests
Habitats - Grasslands


management plan‚  land purchase‚  renaturation‚  river

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Regulation 1143/2014 - Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien ...
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)

Target species

 Ciconia nigra   Myotis alcathoe   Myotis brandtii   Myotis daubentonii   Myotis mystacinus   Myotis nattereri   Pipistrellus nathusii   Plecotus auritus   

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)"
  • 3260 - Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation

Natura 2000 sites

SCI HUDD20007 Kelet-Dráva
SCI HUDD20056 Közép-Dráva
SCI HUDD20062 Nyugat-Dráva-sík
SCI HUDD20054 Nyugat-Dráva
SPA HR1000014 Gornji tok Drave (od Donje Dubrave do Terezinog polja)
SPA HR1000015 Srednji tok Drave
SPA HR1000016 Podunavlje i donje Podravlje
SCI HR2001308 Donji tok Drave
SCI HR5000014 Gornji tok Drave (od Donje Dubrave do Terezinog polja)
SCI HR5000015 Srednji tok Drave (od Terezinog polja do Donjeg Miholjca)



Coordinator WWF Világ Természeti Alap Magyarország Alapítvány
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description WWF Világ Természetvédelmi Alap Magyarország Alapítvány (WWF-Hungary) is the Hungarian office of the non-governmental organisation WWF (World Wild Fund for Nature). Since its founding in 1991, WWF-Hungary has worked to protect biodiversity by focusing on freshwaters, forests, priority species and fighting against climate change.
Partners Hrvatske vode, Pravna osoba za upravljanje vodama (Croatian waters), Croatia Duna-Dráva Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság (Danube Drava National Park Directorate), Hungary Dél-dunántúli Vízügyi Igazgatóság (South-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate), Hungary SEFAG Erdészeti és Faipari Zrt. (SEFAG Forest Management and Wood Industry Share Co.), Hungary


Project reference LIFE17 NAT/HU/000577
Duration 01-JUL-2018 to 30-JUN -2023
Total budget 1,785,392.00 €
EU contribution 1,057,071.00 €
Project location Kontinentalna Hrvatska(Croatia Hrvatska) Mediterr. Croatia (CRO)(Croatia Hrvatska) Del-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország)


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