The Morava is one of the most beautiful and ecologically-valuable rivers in all of Central Europe—running alongside forests, wetlands, steppe and mountains. Like a green snake, slithering its way across the continent, the river forms a natural juncture between Central and Eastern Europe—the Alps on one side, the Carpathians mountains on the other.
Home to hot and dry summers, which contribute to slowly receding high waters, the river forms a seasonal mosaic of extremely different habitats—ones that host herons, imperial eagles, red deer, wild boar, and many more migratory animals. River Without Frontiers explores the lives of these incredible species, so to give a sneak peak at this unique documentary—now streaming on Love Nature—we’ve pulled out a few GIFs to celebrate how unique life is right along this river without borders.
The Morava is the left tributary of the Danube. Originating on the Králický Sněžník mountain in the north-eastern corner of Pardubice Region, near the border between the Czech Republic and Poland, the waterway is periodically affected by heavy storms and intense rainfall. You certainly wouldn’t want to be around all that water when the lightning starts striking.
Susliks live in the sandy dunes along parts of the river’s edge. They have to cram a year’s worth of food down in just six months outside their burrows before they go back into hibernation; no wonder this little fella’s tucking in!
Greylag geese are traditionally ground breeders, yet alongside this river their nests are regularly found up in trees. Probably for the bird’s eye view.
No this is not an extra from the film Aliens. It’s a tadpole shrimp (Triops cancriformis) and whilst not an extraterrestrial, it is a living fossil. The species has not changed in appearance since the Triassic period, 220 million years ago, and is therefore the oldest living type of animal known to humankind. Triops eggs can survive the Morova’s intense dry spells buried in soil, sometimes for decades at a time, before contact with water allows them to hatch, usually within days. Prehistoric.
We’re not even sure what species this chappy belongs to. Anybody with any clues, Facebook us the answer, please?
But we do know what animal this is. Moor frogs only turn blue during mating season, so we can be pretty sure what’s likely to be on this frisky froggie’s mind too.
ON THE APP
Explore the wilderness of the Morava River, a 365 kilometre stretch of wetlands that link the Alps to the Carpathians and feeds the mighty Danube. Home to herons, imperial eagles, red deer and wild boar, the river hosts many migratory animals that live across Europe’s borders.