Koprivnica, 4.-5.04. 2017 – Within the DRAVA LIFE project the first workshops were organized for the development of a NATURA 2000 Drava management strategy for the Natura sites along the Croatian Drava and the development of an Action Plan for river birds within the planned 5-county Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube”. The workshops were attended by experts from the nature protection sector, ornithologists from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia, and the DRAVA LIFE project team.
The workshop for the development of a management strategy aimed at collecting data on the current management practices, threats and solutions of the N2K sites (EU Nature protection areas) along the Drava River and how they should be managed.
The workshop for the development of an Action Plan for river birds focused on seven species of river birds: sand martin (Riparia riparia), bee-eater (Merops apiaster), kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), common and little tern (Sterna hirundo and Sterna albifrons), little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) and sand piper (Actitis hypoleucos)). All of them them are threatened by habitat loss due to river regulation, gravel and sand extraction and hydropower dams. Those species depend on dynamic riverine habitats like gravel and sand but also steep banks.
The workshop was organised in the concept of the World cafe so that all experts could actively participate and contribute to the discussion of threats and solutions for the breeding success of these endangered key river bird species.
After the workshop participants visited the new bird watching towers and the educational path at the mouth of the river Mura set by the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in Koprivnica-Križevci County within the DRAVA LIFE project, and the colony at Libanovec – the largest colony of sand martins in the upper course of the river Drava in Croatia.
The next workshops are planned for autumn 2017.