The Ilsterner Au biotope extends along a 1.3-kilometre stretch of the River Rienz/Rienza and is located in the municipalities of Kiens/Chienes and Vintl/Vandoies. It consists of four hectares of water area and eight hectares of biotope area.
Floodplain forests are rich in water and plant nutrients, which provide an ideal setting for a colourful range of vegetation. While grey alders are the most common trees to be found in the Ilsterner Au floodplain forest, parts of it are also densely populated by spruces and pine trees.
Ash trees are the predominant plants in the eastern part of this biotope, which is a bustling home to many different animals. Countless fascinating insects and birds live here all year round, and many migratory birds can be observed on their way north or south.
The ecological function of a floodplain forest however is not limited to merely protecting its native wildlife: Biotopes also play a key role in maintaining the hydrological balance of their surroundings, since they act as a large water reservoir. Moreover, in terms of landscape, it is an enriching counterpart to the intensively used landscape areas.
In the course of the sustainable revitalisation project, large parts of the terrain were lowered and the river bed widened and several groundwater ponds were created. The upper area with theme board is also considered a nature-oriented recreation zone for the local population in general and families and schools in particular.