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Bundesamt für Naturschutz

Swabian Danube Valley (Schwäbisches Donautal)

Areas and habitats
Waters and floodplains
Large-Scale Conservation Projects
Complexes of alluvial forests with oxbows, reed beds, graval beds, sprig mires and fens
Federal state
Division II 2.4 Water Ecosystems, Hydrologie, Blue Belt
Project I: 2009 bis 2012 (management and development planning), Project II: still pending (implementation)
Core area: 12.600  ha
Bavaria, north and north-west of Augsburg Physiographic region: Donauried
Grant amount
Project I: 0,7 Mio.€, Project II: 9 Mio. (planned) €

Project description

The project area stretches 87 km along the Danube, from the mouth of the Iller in the west to the mouth of the Lech in the east. The area includes one of the largest unbroken complexes of alluvial forest in Germany. It has an outstanding diversity of species and habitats, with 521 Red List species and 51 threatened habitat types. All characteristic floodplain elements are still in place, including alluvial forest and meadows, oxbows, flood channels, standing water bodies, reed beds, gravel beds, spring mires and fens. Notable fauna species include middle-spotted woodpecker, hairy dragonfly and large marsh grasshopper.

The main project objective is to achieve exemplary conservation status for the alluvial forest and habitats. This includes partial restoration of the natural flooding regime lost in many parts of the project area due to dykes and dams. There are plans to build at least five sluices allowing the alluvial forest to be flooded over a total of some 690 ha. It is also planned to return a 10 km stretch of the Danube banks together with numerous floodplain watercourses to their natural state. Sivicultural changes, sustainable forest management, contract nature conservation and undisturbed areas will help allow the alluvial forest to grow naturally. The project also involves adopting common goals for nature conservation and rural development. An ecologically intact floodplain landscape is intended to provide an attractive basis for nature-based recreation and regional development rooted in the natural landscape.

Entity responsible for the project

Donautal-Aktiv e. V.
Hauptstraße 16, 89431 Bächingen

Project funding agencies

BMU/BfN, State of Bavaria, Donautal-Aktiv e.V.
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