Volunteer action – island restoration in the Sava-Odra channel
As a part of the training program NatuRegio-Balkans which Tomislav Hudina, BIOM employee, is a part of, BIOM is organized the restoration of a gravely island in the Sava-Odra channel (Lučko), which was for the last 10 years the biggest breeding ground for the common tern in Croatia. The action was funded by the German Foundation DBU and the Heidehof Foundation. For their breeding grounds, terns always choose gravely soil without vegetation, mostly on little islands or river shoals. “Our” island in the Sava-Odra channel was an ideal habitat for terns, however due to succession it was covered with young willows and poplars, which caused the number of nesting couples to decrease. That is why on Saturday, 13th December, we organized a volunteer action to restore the island and cut down the vegetation, so it would be tern-friendly again. The volunteers and BIOM staff members met up near the island and everyone got their assignment. One group of volunteers was transported to the island by boat, provided by the Fishing Club Piškor. They removed the vegetation with axes, rakes, hand-saws and scissors. Our authorized employees also used chainsaws and lawnmowers. The second group of volunteers were ashore and sorted the cut down vegetation, which will be burnt before spring. However, our job here is not yet done! Before the arrival of terns we also plan to put more gravel and heighten the island so it does not get submerged during high water levels. We also plan to put an education board nearby, along with several wooden roods, on which the terns can sit so we can read the code on their rings easier. We would like to thank everyone who attended and are looking forward to more actions like this in the future!