“Frosch protects frogs” in Austria

The project “Frosch protects frogs” has been carried out in Austria for more than 10 years. Our company and WWF work together on the protection and conservation of the Morava-Dyje floodplains.

Unique specimens of their type, the Morava-Dyje floodplains in Austria are among the absolute hot spots of species diversity in Central Europe. The wetlands offer habitats for more than 500 endangered species of flora and fauna, including white-tailed eagle, white stork, corncrake, Danube crested newt, moor frog and Dianthus collinus.

Andrea Johanides, Managing Direct WWF Austria and Florian F. Iro, Managing Director Erdal GmbH

The rivers Morava and Dyje are the lifeblood of the protected area in the trilateral border zone. However, when the Morava was straightened and dammed in the 20th century and bodies of water and marshes were drained, certain ecological processes were changed, resulting in the slow disappearance of valuable habitats. The WWF pursues the goals of revitalising the area and protecting species diversity by means of ambitious restoration measures. With support from Werner & Mertz, valuable bodies of water for amphibians and previously silted up flood plain waters have been restored since 2009.

Meadow landscape, © Rudo Jurecek

Colourful species variety and climate protection

In 2019, targeted activities were carried out to restore the natural river morphology of the Morava. Expressed in numbers: 6.7 km of Morava tributaries were reconnected, 400 meters of shoreline were rebuilt, 12 km of bodies of water in the wetlands were secured and 115,000 cubic meters of sediment were excavated.

The restoration of the Morava-Dyje floodplains plays a major role in climate protection and the conservation of species diversity in this region. With the re-establishment of river islands and tributaries, the water supply could be expanded and the floodplains could be well prepared for the dry summer months. The work created protected wet areas for animal and plant species that are especially threatened by climate change. Now the Morava-Dyje floodplains offer spawning grounds for the fire-bellied toad and Danube crested newt, for example. More juvenile fish also were observed in 2019 as the result of the new spawning site.

Intact eco systems and floodplains in particular contribute to climate protection. They extract CO2 from the air and store it in trees and humus in the soil. With a variety of ecological niches, high water storage capacity and protected habitats for plants and animals, the Morava-Dyje floodplains make a substantial contribution to species protection and to the fight against climate change.