River Island in Serbia as an Image of Wild Europe


Research area: Krčedinska ada, Danube island, Special Nature Reserve, Vojvodina, Serbia


Krčedinska ada island is a part of Nature Reserve Koviljsko-petrovaradinski rit, which is of great importance to many wildlife species, especially birds. It is also an area that can illustrate the landscapes of wild and pastoral Europe with different grazing species living on the island.

RiverIslands

BioSense researchers have used an old aerial image of the area, and compared it to a new satellite image to classify vegetation and analyze changes that happened over the past 36 years. We knew the cattle numbers have significantly decreased over the years but we didn’t know how did that impact the vegetation?

Our results show that the area under natural willow forest has declined as well as wood pasture area, which are habitats important for many wild species. On the other hand, significant increase in plantation area was detected as well as increase in secondary woodland with many shrub species. These results demonstrate serious area degradation and reveal the role of grazers in maintaining valuable habitats on this island. Based on the results, we are now able to give constructive suggestions to develop sustainable management strategy for this area.

Thirty six years of land cover change in the Danube island, Vojvodina, Serbia