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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Located in the Great Hungarian Plain, Hortobágy Biosphere Reserve is a vast flat steppe landscape (‘Hungarian Puszta’) which recalls features of the East Asian steppes in central Europe. However, Hortobágy is not only a short grass alkali steppe but also comprises springs, canals, bogs, swamps, fishponds and forests. It comprises the most important bird migration site in the Carpathian Basin, which is designated as a Ramsar site.
Man played a dominant role in the formation of the Hortobágy landscape. The once forested steppe with impenetrable swamps in lower areas, used to be under the influence of the Tisza River that was meandering through the plain. River regulation and the spread of animal husbandry caused major changes of the landscape: large areas became deforested and steppe formations advanced. Today, the landscape is maintained by the combined efforts of nature conservation and traditional farming. Nomadic animal husbandry is on decline, however Hungarian grey cattle, racka sheep, mangalica pig etc. are still kept for gene preservation and tourist attraction. Visitors of the area can learn about the history of the landscape in exhibitions, the Hortobágy Shepherd’s museum and on marked trails.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broad-leaf forest
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   47°25' to 47°15'N; 20°54' to 21°21'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   52,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   1979
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Synecology of flora, fauna, and soils
Ecology of pools, artificial water bodies, alkali lowlands, salt steppes
Ecology of breeding and migratory birds
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Soil.
  Biodiversity   Birds, breeding/reproduction, community studies/communities, ecology, fauna, flora, migrating populations/migration.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Rozália Érdine
Head of Department for Nature Conservation, State Secretary for Nature Protection
Ministry of Environment and Water, Fo utca 44-50
H-1011 Budapest
  Telephone   (36 1) 457 3488
  Fax   (36 1) 201 2617
  Contact address   István Sándor
Director, Hortobágy National Park Directorate
Sumen u.2
4024 Debrecen

Last updated: 01/01/1992

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