I-SWAMP partners on field together in Austria and Slovenia!

Jun 1, 2023

The three partners of I-SWAMP planned an event dedicated to teachers in Tichoja (Sittersdorf, Austria, info here) on May 25th. On the occasion of the event, they decided to seize the opportunity to visit together some small wetlands included in I-SWAMP activities as project sites.

On May 24th, Giulio, a representative of the University of Padova, together with Danijela and Urosh (a wildlife photographer), from the staff of the Geopark Karawanke, and Susanne, from the company E.C.O., visited two sites in Austria:

  • The first one was Pirkdorfer See, a small lake at the foot of Peca/Petzen Mountain, in Feistritz ob Bleiburg. This is a swimming lake with several accomodation facilities. The main goal of the Geopark here is to favor the expansion of some patches of natural vegetation, especially composed of Phragmites (reeds) and Juncus (rushes) species: this will require a modification of the mowing regime and the protection of some areas of the lake.
  • The second is a wetland in Lavamünd: two small ponds are located not far from an artificial lake and the river Drava. These ponds are overgrown with vegetation, overshadowed and invaded by alien plant species (especially bamboo). The management will involve removal of the bamboo and opening of corridors for light and for dragonflies.

On the 25th, Giulio, along with Lenka and Martin from the IRSNC visited Helenski Potok, a system of small peatlands on the southern side of Peca Mountain, in Slovenia. The peatland is very interesting, with remnant population of the endangered butterfly Euphidryas aurinia (marsh fritillary) and several species of orchids, sedges and mosses. It is now partially drained and overgrown. The restoration will involve mowing and tree-cutting, along with involving the local stakeholders to prevent behaviors that can be unintentionally harmful to the peatland.

Later all the partners joined an event in Tichoja, which included a visit to Sonneger Moor, a mire that is partially invaded by Solidago gigantea, a goldenrod plant from North America.

Later Giulio and Susanne visited Wildensteiner Moor, a beautiful marsh in Galizien (Austria) with presence of the invasive plant Fallopia.

These visits allowed us to discuss together the problems faced by these wetlands, propose solutions and management practices, exchange opinions and experience.

All these sites will be monitored and restored this year, so, if you want to learn more about them, stay in touch!