Biodiversity in river Drava. Pike (Esox lucius) – first picture and Stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium)- second picture. In rivers without dams, life is very diverse. Young pike need places in lakes and rivers, where they can take shelter between plants so they are not eaten. Rich submerged vegetation is needed. With the construction of artificial meanders and dams, not only the rich and diverse fauna but also the flora disappeared. Austropotamobius torrentium, also called the stone crayfish, is a European species of freshwater crayfish in the family Astacidae. It is mostly found in tributaries of the Danube, having originated in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Stone crayfish is one of the most endangered European cancers of ten-footed animals, which is also on the list of protected animal species in Slovenia. The preferred habitat of A. torrentium is cold, fast-flowing streams, although some live in larger rivers and lakes. It digs burrows in the banks and hides under submerged roots or rocks, emerging at night to feed. Adult A. torrentium consume a variety of plant materials, including fallen leaves, while the juveniles chiefly feed on aquatic invertebrates. The species is sensitive to low levels of dissolved oxygen, and to chemical pollution. – © Slavko Prijatelj

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