14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 222 Georg FRANK DANUBEPARKS Danube River Network of Protected Areas Donau Auen National Park Orth an der Donau Austria The Danube river backbone for Europe s biodiversity The Danube river is a green lifeline for biodiversity The large number of Natura 2000 sites is evidence of Europe s commitment to preserve this natural heritage While the Network of Danube Protected Areas conserves and manages the most valuable sites habitat fragmentation limits efforts to preserve a cohesive ecosystem The EU Macro Regional strategy EU Strategy for the Danube Region EUSDR underlines the outstanding role of Danube protected sites yet notes that they often work in isolation The EUSDR calls for tran snational cooperation and the provision of ecological connections that are essential for overall European environmental health Danube protected areas key sites for ecological corridors Nature does not recognise borders Consequently tran snational cooperation in the eld of nature conserva tion is crucial on the world s most international river In 2007 DANUBEPARKS the Danube River Network of Box 10 The Danube Habitat Corridor Bridging biogeographic regions and protected areas Habitat fragmentation is one of the main threats for Danube sturgeon bringing them close to extinction

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