The Danube River Basin hosts a variety of fascinating, diverse and dynamic ecological territories with many unique plants and animals. The habitats created by the Danube and its tributaries house a mix of wildlife, with about 2,000 vascular plants and more than 5,000 animal species. These include:
- fast flowing mountain streams
- wide and slowly flowing lowland rivers
- large sand and garvel banks
- wetlands and floodplains
- wet meadows
- small and large lakes
- the dynamic Danube Delta
This ecological diversity makes the Danube, its small and large tributaries as well as its lakes unique and poses an special responsibility when managing the water.
The Joint Danube Survey 2001 was carried out by the ICPDR and is the most homogenous analysis of the water quality and the ecological status of the Danube River. Over 140 chemical and biological parameters were analysed and over 40.000 laboratory results were generated.
The Danube and its tributaries host a variety of fascinating and diverse ecological territories with many unique plants and animals. The rich and unique biodiversity and riverine habitats have been under severe pressure due to human activities since centuries. However, today the protection of environment and biodiversity is on the political agenda of the different Danubian States.
JDS 2, the world's biggest river research expedition, was held in 2007. Its goal was to produce comparable and reliable information on water quality and pollution for the Danube and some tributaries. The ICPDR coordinated its implementation. Launched on August 14, 2007 in Germany, three JDS2 boats traveled downstream the Danube, through 10 countries, to the Danube Delta.