About the river Drava

Spanning Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, the lower courses of the Drava Rivers and related sections of the Mura and Danube are among Europe's most ecologically important riverine areas: sometimes called the "Amazon of Europe".

Despite numerous man-made changes in the past, this stunning river landscape hosts amazing biological diversity and is a hot spot of rare natural habitats such as large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and Photo by Tamás Grubersand banks, side branches and oxbows.

These habitats are home to the highest density of white-tailed eagle breeding pairs in Continental Europe, as well as other endangered species such as the little tern, black stork, beaver, otter and the nearly extinct ship sturgeon. Every year, thousands 250,000 migratory waterfowls use the rivers to rest and to feed. In addition to high degrees of biodiversity, the river and floodplain areas are vital to the people who live there. Local fishermen rely on fish populations for their livelihoods. The extensive floodplains lower flood related risks, guarantee favourable groundwater conditions and the self-purification of water. This is essential for drinking water supplies, forests and agriculture.

People also find recreation on the rivers in the form of trekking, swimming, fishing or canoeing. The whole Hungarian Drava is part of the Danube-Drava National Park and the Croatian part of the river has locally protected status. Both parts of the river is part of the cross border biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube, which was established by Croatia and Hungary in 2011.