Despite numerous man-made changes in the past, this stunning river landscape hosts an amazing biological diversity and is a hotspot of rare natural habitats such as large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sand banks, side branches and oxbows. These habitats are home to the highest density of breeding pairs of white-tailed eagles in Continental Europe and other endangered species such as the little tern, black stork, beaver, otter habitats and the nearly extinct ship sturgeon. There are also many rare fish on a European scale, such as sturgeon, nesting sites for many endangered bird species such as sand martins. Every year, more than 250.000 migratory waterfowls use the rivers to rest and to feed.

The Amazon of Europe hosts a variety of animal species. Floodplain forests are inhabited by red deer, roe deer and wild boars, foxes, martens, and other smaller animals. Rivers, side branches and lakes are habitats of many fish species.

The available data shows that there are 69 fish species recorded in the Drava River only. Some of them are Northern pike, pikeperch, asp, zingel, European mudminnow and others. The Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers were once important habitat for the starlet, a sturgeon species that are now the most endangered species group on planet Earth. Rivers and connected habitats are also living spaces of otters and beavers.

Most prominent and most researched group of species in the Amazon of Europe are birds. The Amazon of Europe host the largest continental breeding population of white-tailed eagle, it is a resting site for more than 250.000 water birds during migration and also a breeding area for many endangered and strictly protected species like the little tern. Steep bank and gravel/sand bar breeders like sand martins, European bee-eaters, kingfishers, terns, little ringed plovers, and sandpipers still find suitable nesting habitats on the Amazon of Europe rivers even though their numbers are decreasing due to river regulation, building of hydropower plants, lack of sediment and other human-related impacts. Black storks, cormorants, grey herons and white egrets are some of other important birds that can be seen along the Amazon of Europe.


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