Donja Dubrava, Legrad – Along the drainage channel of hydropower plant Dubrava more than twenty German tamarisk (Myricaria germanica) plants can be found. Although German tamarisk, as well as dwarf cattail could be found until recently on sandbanks and riverbanks of the Drava in Croatia, nowadays this is no longer the case. They are extinct from the area due to river regulation activities from the past; the remaining German tamarisks no longer survive in their natural habitat.

To reverse that process, within DRAVA LIFE project, the activity of repopulating German tamarisk was carried out. Of course, to do that it was needed to collect seeds as well as cuttings of the plant. On the 2nd of August, the DRAVA LIFE team collected seeds from 15 plants living along the drainage channel of hydropower plant Dubrava and 10 cuttings from the same plants.

The seeds were then immediately taken to selected sites on the Drava and Mura-Drava confluence, to repopulate the Drava River’s habitats with them. These sites are the same that were selected for German tamarisk repopulation with plants extracted from three gravel pits in Varaždin and Koprivnica-Križevči County as well as for dwarf cattails (Typha minima) taken from the Upper Drava in Austria.

The repopulation activity served at the same time as an opportunity for a check of the survival rates of the dwarf cattails planted in spring 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, no dwarf cattails planted in 2018 could be found probably due to the unfavourable weather conditions during the past year, however, those planted in March 2019 were found in all locations. Even better, on few locations seedlings of dwarf cattail were found, which raises hope that at least some of the plants will survive until the next monitoring.

The repopulation and monitoring activity was organized by the DRAVA LIFE team under scientific advice by Dr. Dragica Purger of the University of Pécs.