Managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the Danube River Basin

A three year Interreg-project focusing on migratory fish species in the Danube and its main tributaries. The IHG leads the project, which involves twelve partner institutions from eight countries in the Danube river basin, ranging from Austria to the delta in Romania. 

The Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) started leading a three years Interreg-project taking place from 2018 to 2021. MEASURES (Managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the danube river basin) will pave the way for the establishment of ecological corridors through identifying key habitats and initiating protective measures along the Danube and its main tributaries. In total, twelve Institutions from eight Danube River Basin countries are taking part in the project.

Following activities and outcomes are planned:
A methodology for migratory fish habitat mapping will be developed and tested. A harmonized strategy (including prioritization) for the restoration of ecological corridors will be developed and will support implementation in future management plans. Two pilot actions are envisaged: (1) identify and map key habitats, (2) restocking of two native species to conserve their genetic pool (Acipenser ruthenusAcipenser gueldenstaedtii). A network for concerted restocking of targeted species will be established, as well as a manual for the operation of broodstock facilities. A MEASURES Information System will be created to facilitate access to information for experts, decision makers and the general public. Concrete input into the next drafts of policy- and management plans (e.g. river basin- and flood risk management plans) will secure the translation of project outcomes into sustainable management of relevant sites restoring ecological corridors.

The official Kick-Off event takes place from 1st to 2nd October at the BOKU.

Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF. IPA)

Download: Infofolder (PDF)

Non-Biting Midges (Chironomidae) Course at IHG

  • Sabine Schiffels in conversation with Dr. Berthold Janecek – non-biting midges specialist at the IHG of BOKU.

In September, participants from Austria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland took part in a special course at the Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG) of BOKU, where they immersed themselves in the species-rich insect family of Chironomidae (non-biting midges), 615 of which are represented in Austrian waters!

With Sabine Schiffels from Aachen as a lecturer, the determination of this taxonomically demanding family of two-winged midges was very successfully practiced in the three-day course and information on the occurrence, distribution, biology and ecological indicator function of non-biting midges was also provided.

The safe determination of animal species is the basis for the preparation of expert surveys in water protection and for the ecological assessment of water bodies. It is also essential for the research of biodiversity in Austrian’s rivers and streams.

The Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG), together with the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, therefore offers several-day annual determination courses on macrozoobenthos groups (aquatic invertebrates that are visible to the naked eye).

European Sturgeon Conference

In the frame of the Austrian EU Presidency, the European Sturgeon Conference, hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) took place in Vienna on the 9th and 10th of July. Its aim is to contribute to the protection of the sturgeon species in the Danube River basin as well as on a pan-European level. Three experts of the Institute for Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management of BOKU (Thomas FriedrichThomas Hein & Stefan Schmutz) shared their expertise on restoration of riverine habitat and sturgeon stocks in their keynotes. A visit to the hatchery station operated by BOKU took also place on the evening of the first day.

Cooperation agreement between Egerton University (Kenya), IHE-Delft (the Netherlands) and BOKU

On 27th of June, the Vice Rectors of the three partners Egerton University, IHE-Delft and BOKU ceremoniously signed the cooperation agreement which forms the foundation of the international Joint Degree Masterprogramme Limnology and Wetlandmanagement.


LWM - Limnology and Wetland Management has been the 1st Joint Degree MSc programme established at BOKU in October 2012 – and the 1st Joint Degree programme at the partner universities IHE Delft, Netherlands and Egerton University, Kenya as well. Still it is the one and only joint degree programme with an African university at BOKU!

LWM is a truly international programme attended by students from Africa, Asia, America and Europe – however, Austrian students are very much attracted as well! Up to now we have had six Austrian students attending the whole LWM programme in Austria, Kenya and The Netherlands, plus 21 BOKU students attending LWM modules in Kenya. Hence, LWM contributes to the implementation of the BOKU internationalisation strategy – via the international joint degree set-up, “internationalisation at home”, student & teacher mobility and international networking. Remarkable is the average study duration of 20 months, which may be BOKU-wide the shortest for a Master’s programme. We are proud to announce that LWM generated 49 graduates so far and we are confident that with this cooperation many more will follow.

Lunz Courses 2018

Max Zauner produced a short film about the courses in Lunz 2018.


Faunistic-systematic research for the Austrian Limnofauna - the latest version and third edition of the FAA is available since 1 December 2017!

First published in 1995 under the aegis of Otto Moog, and reprinted in an updated version in 2002 and 2003, the FAA has now been released in a new edition 2017 with Anne Hartmann as co-publisher.
The FAUNA AQUATICA AUSTRIACA - short FAA - contains the inventory of the currently known macroinvertebrate species of the Austrian rivers and streams and provides a data collection of ecological information on these aquatic organisms.
The faunistic research achievements of 64 taxonomists have made the 3rd edition of the species catalog possible and resulted in the listing of a total of 3287 macroinvertebrate and 650 ciliate species.
The FAA standardizes the ecological classifications for macroinvertebrates and thus forms the basic prerequisite for comparability of test results and quality assurance measures within the framework of the national quality control of running waters.
The FAA was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and is regularly updated.