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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Romania / Ukraine


© Photo: DDBRA, Romania.
  General Description   The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, shared with Romania and Ukraine, is a labyrinth of water and land, made up of countless lakes, channels, islands at the end of a 2,860 km long river. The Danube Delta is the largest European wetland and reed bed, forming also Europe’s largest water purification system. The area is particularly well known for the abundance of birdlife: 312 important bird species are present in the Delta, which is an important stopover and breeding area for many bird species. About 90 fish species are fond here, including populations of sturgeon. It is also one of the last refuges for the European mink, the wildcat, the freshwater otter and the globally threatened monk seal. The biosphere reserve was declared as both Natural World Heritage and Ramsar site in 1991.
The Danube Delta is home to a rich mix of Ukrainian, Russian, Lipovan, Bulgarian, Moldavan, Turkish and Gagauz people, scattered around the delta in small villages. Main economic activities in the biosphere reserve are fishing, hunting, livestock raising and subsistence agriculture, reed harvesting as well as tourism. Romania and Ukraine, both countries in economic transition, share many problems, such as a high unemployment rate. The nature of the delta is mainly affected by all land use decisions taken upstream, in any of the nine countries bordering the river. However, also possible intensification of agriculture within Romania and Ukraine is a specific worry since it would lead to increased pollutants in the water. With the creation of the transboundary biosphere reserve, it is hoped that synergy effects will help to resolve the shared socio-economic problems and, at the same time, help to maintain the delta’s ecological processes and biodiversity.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate wetland delta and marine/coastal zone
  Major habitats & land cover types   Romania: Wetlands with reed beds (Phragmites australis) and Typha sp.; deciduous forests on sand dunes with oak (Quercus sp.), Euphorbia seguierana, Medicago falcata etc.; artificial polders with cereals
Ukraine: Shallow fresh-water characterized by Phragmites australis, Carex acutiformis, Trapa natans etc.; shallow coastal waters with Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, Alosa kessleri pontica and Engulis encrasicholus ponticus; sandy ridges, dunes, spits supporting Leymus sabulosus, Argusia sibirica, Artemisia arenaria etc.; riverine forests dominated by Salix alba, Hippophae rhamnoides, Amorpha fruticosa etc.
  Location   Romania: 44°20' to 45°27'N; 28°10' to 29°42'E
Ukraine: 45°13' to 45°34'N; 29°23' to 29°46'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   626,403
  Core area(s)   73,262 (of which marine:1,300) (Romania: 50,600; Ukraine: 22,662)
  Buffer zone(s)   160,673 (of which marine: 136,686) (Romania: 223,300; Ukraine: 19,687)
  Transition area(s) when given   310,154 (Romania: 306,100; Ukraine: 4,054)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   Romania: -39 to +47 Ukraine: -8 to +4,5
  Year designated   1998
  Administrative authorities   Romania: Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority Ukraine: Administration of the Danube Biosphere Reserve; The Ministry for Ecology and Nature Resources of Ukraine; National Academy of Science of Ukraine
  Brief description   Climatic data
Marine and fresh-water aquatic systems
Indicators in hygrology for determination of water quality
Biodiversity inventories
Sedimentation, influences of fire, hydrology
Botany, ornitology, ichthyology, terriology
Phenology of indicator plant and animal species, investigation
of rare and threatened species, colony birds, fish migrations, botanical monitoring and vegetation mapping
Migration process of the wetland gamebirds through the ecological corridor between the Danube and Dnieper deltas (in cooperation with Chernomorskiy Biosphere Reserve, Ukraine)
Human impact on natural communities of the biosphere reserve, economic activities, development of methods for environmental education
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, hydrology, indicators, siltation/sedimentation.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, birds, coastal/marine, community studies/communities, fauna, fires/fire ecology, fishes, flora, freshwater/inland water, indicators, methodologies, migrating populations/migration, phenology, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands.
  Socio-economic   Economic studies, livelihood measures.
  Integrated monitoring   Education and public awareness, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Paul Cononov
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority
34 A Portului Str.
820243 Tulcea
  Telephone   (40.40) 518 945
(40.40) 518 962
  Fax   (40.40) 518 975
  Web site
  Contact address   Oleksandr Voloshkevich
Director, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
132-a, Tatarbunarsky Revolt Street
UA 272626 Kiliysky District, Odesska Oblast
  Telephone   (380.4843) 446 19
  Fax   (380.4843) 446 19

Last updated: 28/02/2007

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