13 October 2017

Danubian Island of the year 2017

This is the fifth time the Donauinseln blog starts its poll for the Danubian Island of the year. You can vote for the three nominated islands between 13th October and 31th December 2015.

The aim of this poll is to focus attention on the mostly unknown islands of the Danube. Most of you probably visited the Seychelle Islands before any Danubian Island. As we stated this is the fifth poll, and we hope we have started a tradition and more-and-more people will learn about these islands across the Globe.

The winners so far (you might noticed this is a Hungary-based blog):
2013. Kompkötő Island, Vác
2014. Helemba Island, Esztergom
2015. Kismarosi Island, Kismaros
2016. Szalki Island, Dunaújváros

This year our readers have selected two islands in the qualifying rounds. Through our choice, the Babakai-rock we expect a David and Goliath struggle between the largest Danubian Island, the  Slovakian Žitný ostrov/Csallóköz. We start the introduction in alphabetical order, with the island we thought worthy enough to participate in the poll.

Babacai-rock, Coronini, Romania

The Babacai rock is not only the smallest among the three nominees, but the smallest of all Danubian Islands. It is located at the entrance of the Iron Gates gorge, near Coronini, Romania, facing the Serbian Golubac castle. There are only a few other places along the Danube which captures the human imagination so much. The locals, the soldiers passing by and the travellers also poetized this piece of rock with griping tales and legends.  Most of the legends have been lost, but some of them are still with us.  The purpose of the nomination was a recent article by the blog on the correction of its height on wikipedia. 

Žitný ostrov/Csallóköz, Szlovákia

The largest inland island of Europe is also known as the Golden Garden of the Danube. It has an area of 1886 square kilometers and contains 150 settlements out of which Komárno is the largest at the confluence of the Váh/Vág river. The Žitný ostrov is located in Southern Slovakia, but exept for a minor western part it has a majority of Hungarian population. A future enviroment protection cooperation between Hungary and Slovakia to create a joint national park in the region can be a good purpose of the nomination. 

Prímás Island, Esztergom

It is quite hard to catch the essence of the Prímás Island on a photograph. The northern side of the island, under the castle is urbanized with parks, bridges, recreational areas, and a concrete-torso of a hotel, while the other side towards Tát is a flood plain wilderness with unaccessible riverine forests. A famous feature of this 2.7 km long island is the reconstructed Maria Valeria bridge to Párkány/Stúrovo. Originally it was two islands, named after the archbishops of Esztergom. The Prímás Island is a floodplain often flooded by the Danube. 

The poll will be closed at midnight 31th December 2017. The results will be available in the first post of the year 2018.

01 October 2017

Qualifying round of the "Danubian Island of the year 2017" voting

Time has come again to cast your vote for the Danubian Island of the Year. This will be the fifth year we start this contest. As a tradition our readers can nominate, and then decide which two Danubian Island to qualify for the finals. As usual there are 3 islands in the final the 3rd one is nominated by the Donauinseln blog. The qualifying voting ends on the 12th October 2017. On the next day we start the finals which ends on the last day of 2017.

All islands are from the middle section of the Danube, from the Hungarian Gates of Dévény/Devín to the lost island of the Iron Gates. This is because the blog has mostly Hungarian readers and writers.  The Islands are in alphabetical order, and they have Hungarian names. Please check each island on the Hungarian language blog (titles on the right panel).

Please select your favourite Danubian Island (Island/Location):

10 August 2017

Operation Danubian Mayfly

After four decades, 2012 was the first year to see the Danubian mayfly (Ephoron virgo) swarming above the Danube as an indicator of the significant increase in water quality. Millions of swarming mayflies has been reported in late July and August from many places between Budapest and Tahitótfalu since then every year. They have also been observed on one of the tributaries of the Danube, the Rába. But what is the reason for a nature film, dubbed Operation Mayfly? From what do we need to save them, are they already in danger?  

Since we would recommend to learn the answers from the film in brief the situation is the following: Ephoron virgo usually swarms after dusk, so all sources of artificial light on the river banks is a light-trap for them. Heading for these light sources, the female mayflies are dropping their batch of eggs on the ground instead of the water surface. These eggs will never hatch, so new generation of millions of mayflies will never be born. Lights on bridges is a more serious problem. While mayflies lay their eggs on the asphalt, they are perishing under the vehicles. In Hungary the ecological value of one Ephoron virgo mayfly is 10000 HUF, equivalent of $38USD, it is easy to calculate the ecological loss of the dead mayflies and their eggs. They are working on solving this problem, the Operation Mayfly film is about this struggle. 

So far I have no idea why there are beavers and coypues in this film, if anyone knows please let me know. Operation Mayfly has won the prize for the best document movie in the Ecological values of the Carpathian basin section on the third Internatonal Nature Film Festival in Gödöllő. We would like to take the chance and congratulate for the authors, Filmdzsungel Stúdió and  TZSM productions! 

If the subtitled (please press CC) youtube video is not working, you might find Operation mayfly on the below links:
  • http://teka.filmdzsungel.hu/dunavirag_mentoakcio/
  • http://www.mediaklikk.hu/video/a-dunavirag-mentoakcio-2/
  • https://vimeo.com/ondemand/adunaviragmentoakcio