Zagreb – NGO’s WWF Adria and BIOM have successfully completed the campaign called #ProtectRiverBirds, with the aim to raise public awareness on the importance of protecting river birds and their habitats to conserve the biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems. The campaign was carried out over a period of 3 weeks and conducted through social media channels from 18th September to 14th October 2018 and successfully ended in the European Week of Bird Watching, which is marked in the first week of October. WWF Adria and BIOM together with nearly 20 partners marked the campaign as a part of the “2018 – Year of the Tern”. #ProtectRiverBirds campaign was supported by more than 8,000 people, several organizations, civil initiatives and institutions such as Croatian Waters, Public Institution of Međimurje County, Nature Parks Lonjsko Polje and Kopački Rit, NGO Zeus-Senjar, NGO Green Osijek, Croatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection , BED – Brodsko Ekološko Društvo, NGO LUMEN, Rafting Club Matis Varaždin, Art Center Ješkovo, Dravska priča and many others.
The main goal of the campaign was to educate the wider public about the importance of the birds in the Drava River basin and the protection of their endangered habitats. The habitats are mostly endangered due to human activities that have negative impacts on the number of birds living in the wider Drava River basin. Populations of those birds has been drastically decreasing over the past decades. This also affects the biodiversity of the entire river basin, which is extremely important due to protection of the ecosystems we rely on to withstand rising threats such as climate change. River regulation, drainage of wetlands, construction of hydropower plants are examples of direct negative threats for the freshwater ecosystem and the birds that live in these habitats. Nevertheless, despite the threats, there are still suitable places for nesting of the river birds on the Drava River. The protection of such habitats is highly important.
To raise awareness on the importance of the protection of river birds and their habitats many organizations and institutions, as well as numerous individuals (scientists, biologists, artists, nature lovers) have participated in the #ProtectRiverBirds campaign. Main initiators of the campaign, NGO’s WWF Adria and BIOM are actively working to protect river birds and their habitats throughout two parallel projects, WWF Adria within the project “DRAVA LIFE – Integrated River Management”, and BIOM within the project “Conserving populations of terns in the Sava and Drava basin “.