Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (World Heritage)
According to ehistorylib, the second largest river delta in Europe consists of a network of river arms, canals, lakes, forests, swamp and reed islands, marshland and dunes. It forms the habitat of over 4000 animal and over 1000 plant species and serves as an important resting place for migratory birds. The globally unique ecosystem is severely threatened by water regulation measures on the Danube and environmental toxins from industrial plants.
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve: Facts
|Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
|415 km² of the Danube Delta placed under protection in 1975; 1979 Nature protection for 181.45 km² of the Rosca-Letea Biosphere Reserve, since 1991 6792.22 km², including 1030 km² of water areas, under nature protection; 80% of the Delta is Romanian territory, 20% Ukrainian territory; systematic industrialization since the 1980s, including Fish canning factory for processing 10% of the fish found here; In January / February 2000, flora and fauna were seriously damaged as a result of environmental pollution with toxic cyanide waste water
|Estuary of the Danube on the Black Sea between the Chilia, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe rivers
|The largest and best preserved European river delta
|Flora and fauna:
|The largest wetland in Europe and the largest reed and reed belt in the world at 1700 km²; also at higher altitudes and especially in the Letea forest, pedunculate oaks, white and black poplars, manna ash, elm and a variety of climbing plants such as hops and wild grapevine;
Over 300 bird species, including 176 species that breed in the delta, such as 61% of the world population of the pygmy pelican, 5% of the world population of the Dalmatian pelican, around 2500 pairs of the pink pelican, around 2100 pairs of black and black egrets, predators such as sea eagles and ospreys, marsh harriers , Kangaroos and red-footed falcons, ducks such as white-headed ducks, terns such as 1,700 pairs of sandwich terns and 20,000 pairs of common terns, in winter up to 70,000 white-headed geese and 45,000 red-necked geese; 45 species of freshwater fish such as catfish and sturgeon in the watercourses and bodies of water; Habitat for otters, European mink, wildcat, ermine on the floating islands, as well as rare reptiles such as meadow otters, Aesculapian snakes and steppe racers
Last pelicans over the vast belt of reeds in Europe
Even the spoiled cosmopolitan was impressed. In the year 8 AD, the rebellious poet Ovid was banished by Emperor Augustus to the “Danube’s wild coast”, namely into the mouth of the Danube. And now the man in his mid-fifties, used to milder temperatures, wrote here, on the second longest river in Europe, who “denies that you, Nile, conquer it in size”, astonished how “the blue waters freeze in constant storms”, so that “enclosed by Frost stand there like ships in marble ”. During excursions into the huge Black Sea Delta area, the city dweller immediately noted observations that – like Greeks and Genoese, Turks and Tatars – can still make today: “Rivers mix here with the closed Pontus, which weaken due to the large number the forces of the sea «.
Most tourists of the computer age start their excursions into the idyllic land-water triangle from the Danube port of Tulcea, the ancient Aegisos. Today, modern liner and cruise ships, old fishing dinghies and sleek motor and sailing boats are waiting close by for money-making customers. From the »Faleza« pier, all three main branches of the Danube can be easily reached, including the northern Chilia, which you can navigate to the remote village of Periprava on the Ukrainian border. There you can see herons waiting for a delicious fish meal, standing motionless in the shallow water, while spoonbills and sickles strain and hide in the reeds. Red-footed falcons do their rounds above them, and tawny owls set out on their prey at dusk. Wolves are still sneaking on the western continental strip of Chilia, Foxes and wild cats through the undergrowth. On the southernmost arm of the Danube, Sfântu Gheorghe, you can also collect unforgettable impressions up to the Black Sea estuary of the same name: a multitude of intertwining plants form almost unmistakable, floating vegetation islands on which stilts and avocets find rich food. Meanwhile, dwarf sharks and the globally rare pink and curly-headed pelicans turn their circles in the sky in peace of mind, before they touch the water a little awkwardly to scoop fish out of the water into their throat pouch. floating vegetation islands where stilts and avocets find rich food. Meanwhile, dwarf sharks and the globally rare pink and curly-headed pelicans turn their circles in the sky in peace of mind, before they touch the water a little awkwardly to scoop fish out of the water into their throat pouch. floating vegetation islands where stilts and avocets find rich food. Meanwhile, dwarf sharks and the globally rare pink and curly-headed pelicans turn their circles in the sky in peace of mind, before they touch the water a little awkwardly to scoop fish out of the water into their throat pouch.
Nowadays it is easiest from Tulcea to travel the middle and specially straightened arm of the Danube, Sulina, to the estuary of the same name, where wide sandy beaches and yellow-white dunes seem to stretch to infinity. On the way you can see cows and horses grazing on lush green meadows. Every now and then whitewashed and thatched village houses with border-like wall decorations and colorful window flaps from the sea of leaves shine. In the Grîndul Caraorman dune strip, kangaroos and white-tailed eagles go hunting. If you penetrate into the swampy area of the Old Danube near Crisan, for example, perch, pike, pikeperch and carp find their way into the blue-green water under the boat.
At the Mila 23 fish delivery point, you might get into conversation with a few shy Delta residents, some of them light-skinned, formerly from Russia. Until the fall of the dictator at the time, Nicolae Ceausescu, in 1989, they rightly feared for their existence for decades, since it is precisely here, in the labyrinth of countless and constantly changing river branches, that the equilibrium of nature was exposed to sensitive disturbances in the course of decreed industrialization. The livelihood of the delta residents, who are now seriously overaged, extensive agriculture, was also massively threatened. So how good that at least a quarter of this unique aquatic wilderness has been declared a biosphere reserve. For a number of years in particular, we have been trying, even under the wing of a democratic government in Bucharest, local and international experts to save the biological richness of the heart zones of the delta for future generations. And in the end this would also have pleased the Roman poet of the “Metamorphoses”, who was enthusiastic about the Danube.