Sturgeons are iconic fish across the Northern Hemisphere. Nevertheless, few are aware that the Rioni river in Georgia is one of their most important refuges.
As we approached the province of Hatay, we had no idea yet how intricate and strong the nature protection community really is here. But soon enough, we found out that like the underground network of trees in a forest, the protectors of Hatay developed a unique and diverse network, consisting of academicians, conservationists, media personnel and nature enthusiasts, working as coordinated as we have not seen before.
And what are they protecting? Taking up only 0.7% of Turkey, Hatay hosts 60% of all of the country’s mammal species. Moreover, it is a major bottleneck for migratory birds and hosts some of Turkey’s most important wetlands belonging to the Asi river basin.
As nature protection cannot be divided from politics, it has also been strongly influenced by the past years of political turmoil in Bulgaria. In response, throughout the last years, civic movements have mushroomed in the country to protest against various threats to the environment, coordinated by the biggest Bulgarian environmental NGOs. We visited the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, who set out to build a resilient and growing community of conservationists.
One of the biggest wetlands along the Black Sea coast are the Burgas lakes in Bulgaria. The five lakes and their surrounding wetlands cover almost 100 km² and on the right days, you can see thousands of birds here. We met up with the NGO ‘Green Balkans’ and the NGO ‘Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation’, two organizations that run projects for their protection, and learnt about the complex interrelation of traditional salt production and biodiversity in two hypersaline lagoons.
If you haven´t been to the Danube floodplains in their naturalness yet, if you haven’t experienced taking a boat and paddling into some mystical sidearms of the Danube, you must put it on your bucket list. Seriously. From its spring in Germany until it flows into the Black sea, the Danube created vast riparian habitats, …
The Danube is a special river – for biodiversity, humans and for both of us. It connects our home countries Germany and Slovakia plus eight other countries, more than any other river in the world. It´s the biggest river in Europe outside of Russia and 80 million live in its basin spread out in over …