The diversified aquatic fauna of the river is an extremely important natural treasure. More than 50 types of fish are found in the Dráva and its backwaters, representing two thirds of the domestic breeds. Sadly, amongst the protected Sturgeon breeds, only the Bastard Sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris) is found today. The heavily protected European Mudminnow (Umbra krameri) was found recently in the Cun-Szaporca backwater. This 10cm-long fish breed is increasingly rare. The Danube Roach (Rutilus pigus), protected since 2002, can be found in the faster moving deep waters and as a typical fish of the Dráva it is of particular value. The 5-6cm-long Bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus) is a brightly coloured fish living in our still and slowly-moving waters, whilst the heavily protected Hungarian Zingel (Zingel zingel) and the Danube Streber (Zingel streber) prefer clean, oxygen-rich water. The Bullhead (Cottus gobio) also likes clean, oxygen-enriched water, and whilst it is a rarity in our country it is quite common in the River Dráva. Other protected species are the Schraester (Gymnocephalus schraetser), the Common Loach (Neomacheilus barbatulus) and the Tubenose Goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus). The Otter (Lutra lutra) is the tax collector of the river's fish stock, as well as the evermore common Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).
Section of the Drava in Somogy - DDNP Section of the Drava in Baranya - DDNP
When the inland waters freeze a large number of aquatic birds arrive at the Dráva. The most populous is the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and amongst the northern species the Teal (Anas crecca), the Wigeon (Anas penelope), the Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) and the Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). A significant number of wild geese also spend the night on the waters. The injured and sick ducks and geese provide winter food for the riverside White-tailed Eagle (Haliaetus albicilla).
The main tree species of the forest curtaining the river are the White Willow (Salix alba), and the Black and White Poplar (Populus nigra, P. alba). In places they are veiled to their crowns by the creeper, the Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia). At the shrubbery level the Common Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) is found everywhere. The protected Common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) flowers in early spring. The protected Tall Parsley (Peucedanum verticillare) and the much more decorative Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) may be found at the edge of the forest and in the larger clearings. The Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) and the Southern Adder's tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum) may be found on the patches of open meadow. One may also enjoy the rich forms and colours of our orchids, the Green-winged Orchid (Orchis morio), the Military Orchid (Orchis militaris), and the Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris).