Danube

White water lily. Danube River Delta, Ukraine. rel=
White water lily. Danube River Delta, Ukraine.
© WWF-Canon / Anton VORAUER

One of Europe's richest rivers

The Danube River Basin is Europe’s second largest river basin, with a total area of 801,463 km2. It is the world’s most international river basin as it includes the territories of 18 countries. The river flows over 2,857 km from Germany’s Black Forest to the Romanian and Ukrainian Danube Delta on the shores of the Black Sea.

The ecosystems of the Danube River Basin are highly valuable in environmental, economic, historical and social terms, but they are subject to increasing pressure and serious pollution from agriculture, industry and cities.

The river flows (from upstream to downstream) through 11 countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia and the Ukraine. Additional basin countries are Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia‑Herzegovina and FYR of Macedonia.

The Danube is one of Europe’s richest rivers with regard to fish species with seven fish species found nowhere else in the world, 10 diadramous fish including five sturgeon species, and altogether 103 fish species. The basin has 90 freshwater molluscs and over 30 amphibian species.

Current threats
The past years there have been an increasing human impacts, pressure and serious pollution from agriculture, industry and municipalities affect the water supply for communities, tourism and fishing.

Examples of threats are: new infrastructure for shipping, eight proposed large dams (including hydropower), diffuse pollution (use of pesticides), gravel extraction/dredging, flood protection and invasive species.
Map / ©: WWF
Map of the Danube River Basin
© WWF
Countries
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Ukraine

Basin population
81 million people

Size
801,463 km2 and up to 1.5km wide

Length
2,857 km

Key species
White pelican, spoonbill, white-tailed eagle, sturgeon

Livelihood facts
20 million people depend directly on the Danube for drinking water.

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