Case study:Biomura LIFE06NAT/SI/000066

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Project overview

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Status Complete
Project web site
Themes Habitat and biodiversity, Water quality
Country Slovenia
Main contact forename Lidija
Main contact surname Globevnik
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation Institute for water of the Republic of Slovenia
Contact organisation web site
Partner organisations Inženiring za vode d. o. o., Mura - vodnogospodarsko podjetje d.d., Zavod RS za varstvo narave - območna enota Maribor, DPPVN, WWF, RRA Mura, Prleška razvojna agencija.
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
Conservation of biodiversity of the Mura River in Slovenia (

Project summary

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Biomura LIFE06NAT/SI/000066

The BIOMURA project funded by the EU LIFE NATURA 2006 is among the first projects aiming at restoration of the degraded river morphology in Slovenia. Project goals was improvement of riparian and adjacent riverine habitats, protection of targeted endangered species and indirect implications for preservation of other animal and plant species and their habitats, increase of biodiversity and reservation of the natural landscape.

The area covered by the project has a surface of 1520 ha and is part of the Natura 2000 (SPA: SI5000010, pSCI: SI3000215). The area lies within high water protection embankments of the Mura River, between the villages of Bakovci, Dokležovje, Ižakovci, Melinci, Bunčani, Veržej, Krapje and Mota.

Intensive water use, activities in the river and riverside space and the change of land use in the Mura River catchment (chain of hydropower plants on the Mura in Austria, flood protection structures and facilities, water supply, management of agricultural land, urban development) have considerably altered the river space. At the border between Slovenia and Austria, the river bed of the Mura River has deepened in the last decades (by as much as 1.5 m; by 33 cm on average). This has changed the hydrological features of the Mura wetlands.

Although the Mura River has been straightened and the meanders cut-across, leaving behind oxbows, parts of the old channel are still recharged by the river, precipitation and groundwater. The processes of more relaxed, less controlled dynamics of the water flow, with a more frequent and easily spotted bank erosion, natural sediment transport and deposition, frequent flooding, river branches and oxbows, are especially present downstream of Veržej. The Mura river space in Slovenia, and at the reach bordering Croatia, is therefore among the richest ecosystems in Slovenia.

Proposed measures and actions: (C1) connecting the main river channel with the side branches; (C2) establishing conditions for appropriate water level at the site of the water inflow into side branches (more frequent and higher water level in the main channel, which enables the inflow of water into side branches at average and lower discharges); (C3) widening of the main channel where erosion channel banks and gravel bars will be formed; (C4) presentation of sustainable alluvial forest maintenance; (D1) sustainable maintenance (restoration) of side branches; (D2) establishing a system of smaller inflow/ outflow structures and mechanisms (wooden lock lifters, openings) in the chosen sites in the area of oxbow lakes and branches; (E7) local information centre Mota; (E8) regional promotional centre in Murska Sobota; (E9) information trail Veržej – Ižakovci (E1-E6, E10-E12), workshops, promotional and informational actions and sources: webpage, information bulletins, brochure, film.

The activities of the BIOMURA project aimed at improvement of growing conditions for 4 habitats from the Habitats Directive: Alnus glutinosa in Fraxinus excelsior, (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae); Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis in Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior ali Fraxinus angustifolia; Rununculion fluitantis in Callitricho-Batrachion; Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels. The conservation of targeted species for more than a third of the Natura 2000 qualification species on the Mura river should be ensured. Targeted species from that Annex II to the Habitats Directive include: 1 butterfly species (Callimorpha quadripunctaria), 1 amphibian species (Bombina bombina), 1 dragonfly species (Ophiogomphus cecilia) and 5 fish species (Misgurnus fossilis, Rhodeus sericeus amarus, Gymnocephalus schraetzer, Umbra krameri, Aspius aspius). Also, it is assumed that the living conditions of 29 other species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, reptiles and mammals improved.

Monitoring surveys and results

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Lessons learnt

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Image gallery

New gravel bars

Catchment and subcatchment


River basin district Big River
River basin Big River


River name Mura River
Area category 1000 - 10000 km²
Area (km2)
Maximum altitude category
Maximum altitude (m)
Dominant geology
Ecoregion Hungarian Lowlands
Dominant land cover Woodland, Urban, Extensive agriculture
Waterbody ID


Name and Melinci
WFD water body codes SI43VT30
WFD (national) typology
WFD water body name VT Kučnica Mura Petanjci – Gibina
Pre-project morphology
Reference morphology Braided
Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
Local/regional site designations
Protected species present Yes
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
Dominant hydrology Groundwater
Dominant substrate Silt, Sand, Gravel
River corridor land use Woodland, Wetland, Urban, Extensive agriculture
Average bankfull channel width category
Average bankfull channel width (m)
Average bankfull channel depth category
Average bankfull channel depth (m)
Mean discharge category
Mean annual discharge (m3/s)
Average channel gradient category
Average channel gradient
Average unit stream power (W/m2)

Project background

Reach length directly affected (m) 8000 m
8 km
800,000 cm
Project started 2006/10/01
Works started
Works completed 2011/10/01
Project completed
Total cost category 1000 - 5000 k€
Total cost (k€) 2000 k€
2,000,000 €
Benefit to cost ratio
Funding sources Ministry for environment and spatial planning, Institute for water of the Republic of Slovenia, other partners (IZVO, Mura VGP, RRA Mura, Prleska RA, DOPPS, ZrsVN Maribor, WWF), EU LIFE Programme

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
Investigation and design Institute for water of the Republic of Slovenia
Stakeholder engagement and communication
Works and works supervision
Post-project management and maintenance

Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology straight channel
Other reasons for the project


Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications Natural erosion embankments, Connection between river channel and former side branches, Gravel bar
Floodplain / River corridor Partially filled river sleeves - restored and cleaned of debris, new river oxbows
Planform / Channel pattern Channel widening
Non-structural measures
Management interventions
Social measures (incl. engagement)


Hydromorphological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Biological quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Physico-chemical quality elements

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Any other monitoring, e.g. social, economic

Element When monitored Type of monitoring Control site used Result
Before measures After measures Qualitative Quantitative

Monitoring documents

Additional documents and videos

Additional links and references

Link Description zgibanka1 ang.pdf project summary photo gallery

Supplementary Information

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