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Amazon of Europe

By Linda Tancs

The world’s first five-country UNESCO biosphere reserve represents the shared nature of wildlife and ecological preservation among Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. The reserve covers the riverine and estuarine ecosystems of the Danube, Mura and Drava rivers, an area in Central Europe so rich in habitats that it’s been dubbed the “Amazon of Europe.” Forming one of the great wetlands, its range of rare habitats includes large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sand banks, side branches and oxbows, providing shelter for endangered species such as the little tern, black stork, beaver, otter and some vulnerable fish species.

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