With the LIFE-Boat 4 Sturgeon project, its international partners pursue the goal of saving the remaining four sturgeon species in the Danube river basin from extinction. From 2022 to 2030, the project partners will be implementing six conservation measures to rescue the species Russian sturgeon, sterlet, stellate sturgeon and beluga sturgeon.

The project partners include the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (lead), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management, viadonau, the City of Vienna, WWF Romania, WWF Ukraine, WWF Bulgaria, Revivo, MATE and the Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre SAS. The majority of the funding is provided by the EU through the LIFE programme.

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With the contribution of the LIFE-Programme of the European Union

Full Steam Ahead – Join us to save the sturgeons in the Danube!


Sturgeons are the world’s most endangered animal family. Two of the six sturgeon species that previously inhabited the Danube river basin have already become extinct in the area. The remaining species are still classified as endangered and critically endangered on the IUCN Red list (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). This project aims to establish a living gene bank for the remaining four sturgeon species in the Danube river basin and strengthen the wild fish population by introducing young fish from the project hatcheries to the habitat.

a catch

To gather as much information as possible, we are asking all fishermen and women to help us! If you catch a sturgeon in the Danube river basin, and have the opportunity to safely contain it in the body of water for a short while, please contact the project team immediately to discuss how to proceed.

If safely containing the fish is not an option, please take the following steps:

  1. Measure and photograph the fish
  2. Check the fish for colour markings on the bottom of its snout next to its barbels
  3. Take note of the time and place as well as any other anomalies
  4. Send the data to the project team via email or a messaging service (WhatsApp/Signal/text message) to +43 650 4507428


project mile­stones

These are the milestones the project team has achieved so far:

Project gallery

Project manager Thomas Friedrich and Heidrun Eichhorn at the Danube Day 2023.
© Nationalpark Donau-Auen, Kovacs
Stocked sterlets in the Danube © BOKU
Sterlet © Christian Fürthner
Russian sturgeon © Christian Fürthner
Sterlets © Christian Fürthner
Beluga sturgeon © Clemens Ratschan
Beluga sturgeon © Clemens Ratschan
Monitoring in the Danube © Kristof Reuther
Visualisation of the floating hatchery in the Danube in Vienna © Spranger
Visualisation of the floating hatchery in the Danube in Vienna © Spranger
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