In this work communities of ripicolous ground beetles were documented at 7 restored sites within the Upper Drau Natura 2000 area of Carinthia along with two natural reference sites. The obtained results were compared to reference data from the year 2003 by the ÖKOTEAM - Institute for Animal Ecology and Landscape Planning. Qualitative hand-collecting and quantitative sampling with wooden frames of fixed size were carried out throughout the whole study area. Our study paid particular attention to unvegetated gravel bars near the Upper Drau River. In total, 64 species were identified, with 22% of them being classified as endangered species. Bembidion femoratum, B. fasciolatum and Nebria picicornis were predominantly found close to the shoreline. The average density of ground beetles on unvegetated gravel bars was found to be 25 individuals per square meter. The newly formed habitats were colonized by airworthy, ripicolous pioneer species, e.g. Bembidion terminale, Cicindela hybrida transversalis and Omophron limbatum. However, the habitat, which is offered by the recreated restoration sites, vanished over time. As a consequence of missing floodplains, soil solidification, rapid vegetation encroachment, no shifting of the gravel bars, loss of interstitial habitats and hydropeaking the settling of a rich ground beetle community is severely hampered. The present data demonstrated a negative correlation between the age of the restoration site and the amount of ripicolous species. Older restoration sites showed a significantly lower ground beetle density than younger, unvegetated succession areas. In addition the richness of species of riparian ground beetles was significantly reduced by hydropeaking, a low level of gravel and a high level of sand at the restored sites. New creative solutions should be developed to protect particularly suitable habitats along with their ripicolous arthropod communities at restored river sites.