Life Project II

Published, on 25 September 2022
Project status: completed
Nature conservation project
© Mario Posch

Life Project II

Dynamic River System Lech

The starting signal for the LIFE project "Dynamic River System Lech, short "LIFE Lech", fell in autumn 2016.

Large gravel banks and intact wild river sections characterise the Tyrolean Lech and the joint border section with Germany. It is precisely this ecosystem that is one of the most threatened landscape types in Central Europe.

The project LIFE Lech builds on the successfully implemented project "Wild River Landscape Tyrolean Lech" in that measures have already been taken to redynamise the river habitat in the middle and lower reaches of the Lech. This time, 11 river engineering measures are being implemented in the upper reaches of the Tyrolean Lech and in the border area on German territory. These are the areas that are particularly suitable for the restoration of dynamically shaped gravel areas and pioneer sites. In this way, habitat can be created for highly specialised species adapted to the wild river, such as the German tamarisk (Myricaria germanica), the bullhead (Cottus gobio) or the Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), will be created. The work will stop the deepening of the riverbed and stabilise or raise the groundwater level. The floodplains and their inhabitants will benefit from this and flood protection will also be improved.

Species conservation measures are also given high priority in the LIFE Lech project. These deal with the dwarf bulrush Typha minima, crabs (stone crab Austropotamobius torrentium, Jackdaw crab Austropotamobius pallipes), small fish (bullhead, minnow Phoxinus phoxinus), bird species of the gravel banks (Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos, Little Ringed Plover), insects and spiders of the gravel banks (e.g. red-winged fly, snare-shrike Psophus stridulus, Spotted snail-cricket Bryodema tuberculata), amphibians (great crested newt Triturus cristatus, tree frog Hyla arborea, natterjack toad Epidalea calamita) and dragonflies (Bilek's azure damselfly Coenagrion hylas). In order to be able to implement these measures in a targeted manner, a study of variants is carried out at the beginning of the project.

The project is accompanied by a monitoring programme. It deals with the morphological development of the river and the target species. The actual state and the condition of the stretches of measures after implementation are being studied.

Information about the project must not be neglected - a homepage about the project, printed materials, excursions, action days, a travelling exhibition, visitor support in the nature park house and a film round off the project.

Project data:

  • Project area: Natura 2000 site Tyrolean Lech (A); Natura 2000 site Falkenstein, Alatsee, Faulenbacher- and Lechtal (D); Natura 2000 site Ammergebirge with Kienberg and Schwarzenberg and Falkenstein (D).
  • Term: September 2016 - December 2021
  • Total budget: 6,093,220.00 €, of which 60 % EU funding share
  • Promoter: Federal Water Engineering Administration Tyrol, Building District Office Reutte
  • Project partners: Kempten Water Management Office (D); Office of the Tyrolean Provincial Government, Department of Environmental Protection (A)
  • 11 River engineering measures
  • Species protection measures
  • Monitoring
  • Public relations
You can find more information on the project's homepage