Germany

Poland

Oder Delta

Wild hub on a green crossroads

The Oder Delta, spreading between the border of Poland and Germany, is a unique region with a rich mosaic of terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Its strategic location on one of the ecological crossroads in Europe makes it one of the most exciting wild areas in north-central Europe. The vast natural areas are mainly taken care of by nature itself and wildlife has begun to thrive in more natural densities. The region stretches over more than 250,000 hectares, of which nearly 70,000 hectares are the open waters of the lagoon.

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The oder Delta

The Oder Delta is an important stop-over site for migrating water birds using the East Atlantic Flyway. Rewetting of wet pastures in Germany and the abandonment of peat-cutting in Poland has allowed a dramatic comeback of wildlife, most spectacularly for white-tailed eagles that now have the highest breeding density in Europe as well as common crane, otter, beaver, salmon, sea-trout and many other species. 

Rewilding vision

For each rewilding landscape Rewilding Europe has developed an inspiring vision that shows their ambition for the next ten years. Together with their local partners they work to make this vision a reality.

Rewilding Efforts

Many streams and smaller rivers on the northeastern Baltic Sea coast of Germany are currently in very poor condition. The reintroduction of species (such as salmon, sturgeon and sea trout) here means that aquatic habitats urgently need to be improved.

The Rewilding Oder Delta team is now working to restore fish populations and fish migration in the Szczecin Lagoon and associated rivers, in collaboration with local communities and the State Office for Agriculture and the Environment in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Activities, which focus on rivers in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, include the rewilding of river banks, the restoration of natural hydrodynamics, the removal of obstacles to support fish migration, and the re-wetting of areas adjacent to waterways.

The Oder Delta area is located on the Baltic coast on the Polish-German border. It is composed of a rich mosaic of large wild terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems, strategically located on one of the ecological crossroads in Europe. The Oder Delta is a region where the return of nature creates new sources of income and pride. Seven particular iconic species have been chosen as the ‘Oder Delta Big Seven’: white-tailed eagle, European bison, beaver, elk, wolf, Atlantic sturgeon and grey seal.
Greater Côa Valley frog
Greater Côa Valley frog

Trips to the Oder Delta

coming soon
photo expedition
WHITE-TAILED EAGLES
AND THE WILD ODER DELTA

“Oder Delta is a wild jigsaw of habitats”

Suleika Suntken
Team coordinator of Oder Delta

How would you characterise your rewilding area?
The Oder Delta is a wild and complex jigsaw of habitats that includes naturally flowing rivers, heathlands, deltas, marshes, vast reed beds, alluvial and riparian forests, wild grasslands, bogs, coastal dunes, sand beaches and the open sea. Here you can find animals such as the beaver, bison, wolf and elk. The delta is part of the East Atlantic Flyway and the number one hotspot for breeding white-tailed eagles in Europe.

What have the major achievements been in your rewilding area to date?
A collaborative network of NGOs and some very engaged tourism organisations has been formed. Land owners are becoming interested in our initiative too – the first models of cooperation have been developed. Nature and wilderness tourism is still in its infancy, but we’re working hard to make it happen.

What would you like to see achieved in your rewilding area in the next five years?
I hope to see a strong network of partners mutually leading the way forward in support of our overall vision. I hope that nature-based tourism, involving a strong network of local guides, attracts an increasing number of visitors, encouraging landowners to allow wildlife comeback and enabling local people to make a living from wilderness tourism. And I hope that local stakeholders will enjoy a new sense of pride in their rich and exciting natural heritage.

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