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This Summer I will embark on a two-month expedition of 3.500 kilometers across Europe, along the Rhine by bicycle and Danube by kayak from the North to the Black Sea to raise awareness and €50.000 for the World Wide Fund for Nature to fund sturgeon conservation projects. Can we count on your help?


With its rich biodiversity and the most international watershed on Earth, the Danube is rightly called Europe's Amazon and is a hotspot for sturgeon species. But this ancient river that many people and species call home is in crisis while the sturgeons as it's oldest inhabitants are faced with extinction. It is time to support the Danube Dinosaur. Let's together get strong for sturgeons!


Not just some numbers


We are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. Freshwater species are most at risk, with one-thirds of freshwater fish facing extinction.

Sturgeon are indicator species for healthy rivers. We need to save the last sturgeon populations in the Danube and rewild Europe by bringing sturgeons back where they recently perished. 

The Rhine and Danube are two quintessential European rivers. This  expedition along the former Roman frontier  covers 4.000 kilometers through thirteen of Europe's fifty countries.

The war in Ukraine has strong negative impacts on the Danube Delta and  international scientific collaboration on sturgeon conservation in the wider Black Sea basin. It could be the last straw.

Why sturgeons? Why Danube? Why now?

Motivation 'Strong for Sturgeons'

By Bob Kreiken

Like many of you I am always amazed by Nature. And since I first read about the voyages of biologists, I have dreamed of undertaking one myself. But today is not a time of discovery, for much that we know is threatened with extinction. Let's ditch our gloom and face up to our role in history as #Generation Restoration.


I cannot remember why or when the Danube entered my mind. I only know it never left it. Much later, I learned during my studies that, with the exemption of some small populations in France, the Danube is the last sturgeon stronghold of Europe. Sturgeons used to swim all throughout Europe's rivers and seas, but the combined human pressure of the caviar trade, dam-building and gravel mining has decimated them. Without rapid conservation actions, losing the last sturgeons in Europe seems to be only a matter of time. 


Therefore, my plan is to raise awareness and funds for sturgeon conservation by reenacting the fantastic journey of sturgeon who swim up and down rivers to spawn. The first leg of the journey involves a cycling tour along the Rhine from my home country the Netherlands to the spring of the Danube in Southern Germany. There I enter a kayak to paddle down and camp along the Danube until Romania. During the trip I will speak with experts and local communities about conservation, while hoping to catch a glimpse of this dinosaur...

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