Corridor Land - Dry Habitat
Beside aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats, forests, meadows, and even dry habitats are also part of natural river ecosystems. Due to hydro-morphological alterations, today these dry habitats (e.g. so called Heisslands) are very often reduced to small remnants in the floodplain areas. These sites are home to highly endangered plant and animal communities. To avoid isolation of these habitat patches, eco-corridors for dry habitats have to be restored. Dykes, primarily erected as flood prevention infrastructure, have often become valuable secondary habitats - today hosting populations of orchids and insects and breeding sites for the European Pond Turtle. This linear structure, following the Danube along its entire length, qualifies this Grey Infrastructure to be further developed into a habitat corridor.
For the first time, Danube DRY HABITATS are in the spotlight. A new DANUBEPARKS partner will erect a subsidiary network that unites DANUBEPARKS canyons. A cadastre and a Danube-wide map of dry habitats and orchids as flagship species will be drawn based on existing data (Natura 2000, Copernicus) in order to visualise the corridor and to identify gaps.
Corridor Land - Forests
Wetland forests are vital habitats serving multiple functions for flora, fauna and humans. In the past century, around 90% of the original Danube wetlands have been lost due to human intervention. Today, most of the last remaining large-scale floodplain forest complexes are protected by the Danube Protected Areas, famous for their richness in biodiversity. To counteract isolation of their wildlife population, ecological connectivity measures are needed.
The Danube riparian forest Fitness Check, GIS data interpretation and remote census work are the base for the elaboration of strategic documents towards a Riparian Danube Forest Corridor. A coordinated survey on bats along the Hungarian Danube section will test the efficiency of the Fitness Check, different pilot actions will demonstrate the implementation of the strategy.