Backo Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve

©Backo Podunavlje biosphere reserve
Sarkanj pond in Backo Podunavlje biosphere reserve

Located in the northwestern part of Serbia, Backo Podunavlje biosphere reserve, with a surface area of 176,635 ha, extends over the alluvial zones of the central Danube plain. It is composed of remnants of historic floodplains and human-made landscapes influenced by agriculture and human settlements. The floodplain includes alluvial forests, marshes, reed beds, freshwater habitats, alluvial wetlands, as well as flood-protected forests. The main activities of the 147,400 inhabitants are agriculture, forestry and industry.

Designation Date: 2017
Administrative Authorities: Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province
Surface area (including marine areas): 176,636 ha
Core area(s): 11,242 ha
Buffer zone(s): 45,744 ha
Transition area(s): 119,649 ha

46°02'25"N - 45°14'03"N 
Longitude: 19°26'08"E - 18°49'16"E 
Midpoint: 45°48'42"N - 18°57'39"E

Ecological Characteristics

©Jaroslav Pap
Red deer (Cervus Elaphus)

The area of the Biosphere Reserve is the largest conserved floodplain complex in the upper course of the Danube River in Serbia and also one of the largest floodplains along the middle section of the Danube, surrounded by a number of traditional villages and settlements. The area has a specific combination of ecological conditions: it is situated in the contact zone between the Central European and South Eastern European forest zone with steppes, and it has characteristic hydrological dynamics. In combination with complex and centuries-long human influences, those natural preconditions have resulted in very rich and specific landscape, habitat and species diversity.

The primary habitats are: alluvial forests, Pannonian salt steppes and salt marshes, mesotrophic standing waters, natural eutrophic lakes, muddy river shores, alluvial wetlands, wet meadows, sand deposits, river islets, sand shores, floodplains, oxbows, abandoned river beds, meanders.

The floodplain complex along the Danube has a rich fauna, in particular: Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii), otter (Lutra lutra), and red dear (Cervus elaphus). One Prime Butterfly Area (PBA) exists in nominated Biosphere Reserve: Gornje Podunavlje. In total, 156 taxa of butterflies have been recorded in this area. The floodplain is also very important as a fish spawning site.

Socio-Economic Characteristics

©Boris Erg
Bodrog fest in Backi Monostor

The area of the Biosphere Reserve has 147,405 inhabitants in 26 settlements. The largest concentration of inhabitants is in the City of Sombor and in the Municipality of Bačka Palanka. The size of the urban population is 98,672 people, while 48,733 people live in villages.

The ethnic structure of the inhabitants is very complex, making this one of the main demographic and cultural features of the whole region. Around 20 different ethnic groups live in the Biosphere Reserve, with Serbs, Hungarians and Croats prevailing. Alongside them, other ethnic groups include Slovaks, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Bunjevci, Roma and others. The ethnic spectrum is the result of numerous colonisations (which have occurred in this area over the past centuries), political systems and countries. The dominant economic activities are agriculture, forestry and industry, which employ the largest number of people.

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Last updated in June 2017

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