The Annotated Ramsar List: Romania


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Romania on 21 September 1991. Romania presently has 19 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,156,448 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Bistret. 13/06/12; Dolj County; 27,482 ha; 43°52'34"N 023°34'40"E. Natura 2000 (SPA). A mosaic of different habitats, including Bistret Lake, the Danube river, fishery and lagoon complexes, islands, meadows, agricultural land and forests that harbours a diversity of species of flora and fauna, especially birds. Being located along a major migratory route, the site is a nesting, resting and feeding site for many regionally and globally threatened bird species such as the endangered Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis and the vulnerable Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus. The site is used for agriculture; fishing and recreational activities. Bistret Lake acts as a water reservoir and influences the groundwater level. The area surrounding the Lake is of archaeological importance, withone of the most important Bronze Age complexes on the Lower Danube. The operation of the fish farm poses certain threats to the site, as does poaching and solid waste disposal. A transboundary Ramsar Site designation with Bulgaria is planned. Ramsar Site number: 2063. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Blahnita. 02/02/2013; Dolj County; 45,286 ha; 44°25'31"N 022°38'17"E. Nature Reserves; Natura 2000 Network (SPA, SCI). The landscape of this site is represented by swamps, permanent lakes and sand dunes covered with acacias, poplars, oak forests and grasslands, inhabited by a rich and diverse fauna which finds exceptional conditions for nesting and breeding in the area. The site has been designated as a special protection area (SPA) under the Birds Directive for the protection of 16 bird species listed in Annex I, such as the Himantopus himantopus, the Chlidonias hybrida and the Egretta garzetta. The site is also important for the protection of many migratory species listed under the Bonn Convention as for example the Coracias garrulous, the Ixobrychus minutus and the Phalacrocorax pygmeus. Within the Ramsar Site most of human activities are related to agriculture, fishing and forestry, which bring with them potential threats of water pollution, poaching, overfishing and dumping affecting the ecological character of th wetland. In order to avoid these impacts, a management plan is to be developed by the Romanian Ornithological Society. The village of Hinova within the site has been inhabited since the Roman era. Ramsar Site no: 2110. Most Recent RIS information: 2012.

Borcea Arm (Bratul Borcea). 02/02/2013; Calarasi, Ialomita Counties; 21,529 ha; 44°17'12"N 027°40'03"E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI). Located along a major migratory route, the Danube meadow site represents an important area for resting and feeding of a great variety of bird species. It contains many breeding populations of Accipiter brevipes, Acrocephalus melanopogon, Alcedo atthis and Ardea purpurea among others. During migration, the site is also important as a resting area for populations of Aythya nyroca, Ciconia ciconia, Haliaeetus albicilla and Pandion haliaetus in their way from Russia to the Mediterranean and African countries. The Danube meadow shapes the landscape with lakes between sand dunes, marshes, fishponds, islands, canals and drainage channels, transforming the site into a cradle of biodiversity richness. The vegetation is represented by aquatic macrophytes (Phragmites, Typha sp., etc.), poplars, shrubs and oak forests. The site provides a regulatory ecosystem service, reducing the Danube floods in the area. Within the site, Popina Bordusani contains historical and archaeological ruins which belong to one of the most ancient prehistoric settlements in Ialomita County, dated to 7,000 years old. A management plan has been developed but it is still pending approval. Ramsar Site no.: 2111. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Calafat-Ciuperceni-Danube. 02/02/2013; Dolj County; 29,206 ha; 43°50'46"N 022°57'09"E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI); Nature Reserve. The site, situated in the southwestern part of the Oltenia Plain, very close to the Danube River, comprises three Nature Reserves for the protection of migratory and water birds under the Bonn Convention and the Birds Directive. Some of these species find ideal conditions for nesting, such as the Haliaetus albicilla, Ciconia ciconia and Burhinus oedicnemus. During the migration seasons, the site is also important for the Tringa glareola, Pelecanus crispus, the Platalea leucorodia and Plecadis falcinellus. Furthermore, the site represents habitats of community importance as natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion, rivers with muddy banks and Chenopodion rubri and Bidention vegetation, dunes with Hippophaë rhamnoides and humid dune slacks. The site plays a very important role in mitigating Danube flood damages. The area was very wild in the past; after years of draining, however, and the construction of dykes and channels, the biodiversity has been reduced. The forests have been cut and many of the lakes have been dried and transformed into arable land. A management plan has been developed but not yet implemented. Ramsar Site no. 2112. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Canaralele de la Harsova. 02/02/2013; Ialomita, Constanta Counties; 7,406 ha; 44°40'37"N 027°55'28"E. Important Bird Area; 2 Nature Reserves; Natura 2000 Network (SPA, SCI). Situated in the confluence of two Danube branches, Dunarea Veche and Bratul Borcea, on a major migratory route, the site represents an important area for resting and feeding of rare bird species. It provides shelter to important populations of protected birds catalogued under Annex I of the Birds Directive, as for example Accipiter brevipes, Circus macrourus and Pelecanus onocrotalus. The land situated in the surroundings of the Danube branches is covered by temporary lakes which also represent an important space for breeding and nesting of many other birds like Accipiter brevipes, Alcedo atthis and Botaurus stellaris. The site plays an important role in reducing and regulating the effects of Danube floods. Within its boundaries, the most important human activities are forestry, navigation and agriculture. A management plan is going to be developed under the framework of an environmental project approved in 2011. In Harsova at the edge of the site are the remains of the 2nd century Roman Carsium Fortress. Ramsar site no. 2113. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Comana Natural Park (Parcul Natural Comana). 25/10/11; Giurgiu County; 24,963 ha; 44º09'N 026º09'E. Natural Park, Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI). A complex in the flat plain of southern Romania characterized by a high diversity of flora and fauna and consisting mainly of forests, agro-ecosystems, meadows, rivers, lakes, canals, oxbow lakes and a micro-delta. Some 157 bird species have been observed in the park, which regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbirds, many of them migratory. The park also supports numerous fish species, including the endemic Petroleuciscus boristhenicus and the internationally threatened Umbra krameri. Neajlov River and its microdelta are optimal habitats for the Otter (Lutra lutra), and the Tree-marten (Martes martes), Fitchew (Putorius putorius), Jackal (Canis aureus), and Badger (Meles meles). Of the 1,300 plant species, 72 are threatened nationally and species like Marsilea quadrifolia L. are also protected in Europe. Special conservation areas have been established for thorn Ruscus aculeatus as well as for the Romanian peony Peonia peregrina, which lends its name to the Peony Festival, celebrated in the park in May. The site plays an important role in water purification, flood protection, shoreline stabilization, groundwater recharge, and stream flow maintenance. About 10,000 people who live inside the park directly benefit from these services and also use the site for fishing, hunting and traditional agriculture. Historical importance derives from the Comana Monastery, built by Vlad Tepes (commonly known as "Dracula") in 1462. Ramsar Site no.2004. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

Danube Delta. 21/05/91; Tulcea County; 647,000 ha; 45º10'N 029º15'E. World Heritage Site, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Danube delta (Romanian part) consists of a fluvial zone characterized by sandy levees and densely vegetated lakes, a transitional zone of larger lakes, reed swamps and forested levees, and a marine zone, dominated by dune and barrier beach complexes. The site supports a rich flora, fish fauna (75 species), and important populations of several mammals. The area is internationally important for breeding, staging and wintering waterbirds. Nesting species include internationally important numbers of cormorants and pelicans. The inhabitants of the many scattered villages have unique cultural links with the ecosystem. Human activities include fishing, forestry, small-scale cultivation, and tourism. The site was formally twinned with the Camargue Ramsar site by an agreement between the governments of Romania and France, 1992. Ramsar site no. 521. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Danube Islands-Bugeac-Iortmac (Ostroavele Dunarii-Bugeac-Iortmac). 02/02/2013; Calarasi, Constanta counties; 82,832 ha; 44°13'32"N 027°45'48"E. Natural Monuments; Natural Reserves; Natura 2000 Network (SPA, SCI). The site is a part of the Danube's floodplain, where it has the largest width because the Danube splits into two branches which formerly enclosed large lakes. The site is situated on the route of an important migration corridor, so it is important as a breeding and resting place for several rare bird species. The landscape is specific to the meadows, with lakes between the sand dunes, marshes, shrub-dominated wetlands, fishponds and islands providing appropriate conditions for a great biodiversity. Endemic flora like the Hedysarum grandiflorum grow within the site. There is a LIFE project financed by the European Union for the protection of these islands, which are considered very important for bird species such as the Falco cherrug, Haliaetus albicilla and Pelecanus crispus. During wintering and migration, the site is also important for many other threatened species such as the Ardea purpurea, Branta ruficollis, and Ciconia nigra. Human activities which may affect the ecological character of this site are navigation, fishing, poaching, hunting, tourism, urbanisation and wind turbines. The site plays has an important hydrological value as it regulates Danube water fluctuation and floods. Ramsar Site no. 2114. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Dumbravita Fishpond Complex (Complexul Piscicol Dumbravita). 02/02/06; Transylvania; 414 ha; 45°46'N 025°29'E; Special Protection Area (SPA). A complex of reservoir and fishponds surrounded by crops, meadows, dense emergent vegetation with reedbeds, marsh areas and wet grasslands. These habitats support a very rich flora and make an important breeding site for over 30 waterbird species and staging area for more than 100 bird species; besides the most abundant species, there are some that are rare for Romania, such as: Platalea leucorodia, Plegadis falcinellus, Cygnus cygnus, Branta ruficollis. The most important economic value is fish production, which uses the entire pond system with its changing hydrological regime and high productivity mudflats for aquaculture. Other human uses include recreation, agriculture, hay harvesting, and grazing, the latter of which contribute to the annual regeneration of grasslands and marshes and avoid overgrowing. Threats are caused by peat exploitation and especially by illegal uncontrolled reed burning, which fragments habitats and affects breeding birds, as does premature hay harvesting in the marshes and the wet meadows. Angling, poaching and walking inside the reedbeds during breeding season affect the site as well, and intensive fish nourishment at the fish ponds might accelerate eutrophication. Ramsar site no. 1605. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Iron Gates Natural Park. 18/01/11. Caras Severin, Mehedinti Counties; 115,666 ha; 44°41'N 021°56'E. Natural Park. The site is situated in South West Romania. It is a potential Transboundary Ramsar Site of outstanding beauty bordering the Republic of Serbia along the course of the Danube river.It is mostly covered by forest that is interspersed with streams and freshwater pools. The variety of ecosystems as well as the diversity of species is very high. Many species of flora (about 3700) and fauna (more than 5200) are protected under international, European and national regulations. Such species include birds like the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliacal), amphibians like the European Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina bombina), vulnerable fish species such as Acipenser ruthenus, and mammals like the Otter (Lutra lutra). Some plant species are endemic to the area.The large Iron Gates water reservoir serves multiple purposes, from hydropower production to fishing, navigation and leisure activities. It is especially important as a breeding, staging and wintering site for many bird species and regularly supports 20,000 or more water birds.A management plan has been developed and is awaiting approval by the Ministry for Environment and Water Management. Ramsar Site no. 1946. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

Jiu-Danube Confluence (Confluenta Jiu-Dunare). 02/02/2013; Dolj County; 19,800 ha; 43°59'38"N 023°53'48"E. Natura 2000 (SPA). The site covers an important part of the Jiu river, which springs in the Southern Carpathians and flows into the Danube. A small part of the Danube meadow is also included in the site. Due to its length (over 60 km north-south), the site includes a great variety of ecosystems: oak forests, poplar forests, small lakes, old branches of the river, sand islands, dunes, marshes, channels, arable lands, etc. The complexity of these ecosystems provides favourable conditions for the presence of a high biodiversity. The site is also an Important Bird Area for many migratory birds, and it was declared a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive in 2007. Some of the species which find ideal conditions for nesting are Crex crex, Haliaetus albicilla, Ciconia ciconia, and Burhinus oedicnemus, and during the migration period, the site is also important for the Tringa glareola, Pelecanus crispus, Platalea leucorodia and Plecadis falcinellus. In terms of its hydrological value, the site plays a very important role in groundwater level regulation. Fishing is a traditional occupation within the site, and it offers recreational and touristic possibilities, along with several important archaeological sites. The management plan is in development. Ramsar Site no. 2115. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lake Calarasi (Iezerul Calarasi). 13/06/12; Calarasi County; 5,001 ha; 44°11'24"N 027°16'28"E. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA). Originally covered entirely by Ezer Lake, the site now contains only a small part of the former lake which has been preserved following the Danube's embankment. The remainder of the site was transformed into agricultural land and fish ponds now forming a mosaic of natural and human-made ecosystems. The site is of special importance to 271 species of sedentary and migratory waterbirds as well as for several species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, including species threatened on national, European and global level. During winter large concentrations of White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons roost on the lake and Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis rests and feeds in the site. Human uses include fishing, aquaculture and agriculture and the site is important for flood control and groundwater recharge. Potential threats include uncontrolled tourism and over-fishing. Several conservation measures are foreseen, including the prevention of reed burnings, the reduction of agriculturally used chemicals, and the possible development of eco-tourism. An information centre offering educational programs exists. A transboundary Ramsar Site designation with Bulgaria is planned. Ramsar Site number: 2064. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lake Techirghiol. 23/03//06; Constanta County; 1,462 ha; 44°03'N 028°38'E. Protected Area. A lake situated near the Black Sea coast, divided into three parts by two dams constructed in the 1980s: the eastern part remained salty, between the dams the water became brackish, and the western end of the lake contains fresh water. In such diverse conditions the population of plants, such as Suaeda maritima and Puccinellia distans, as well as animals, e.g. the Danube Crested Newt Triturus dobrogicus and the Fire-bellied Toad Bombina bombina and several threatened bat species such as Miniopterus schreibersi, have developed continuously, and the coastal habitats and wetlands provide good conditions for a high variety of species. The site provides a very important roosting place for waterfowl, especially geese and ducks, and at the same time the reed beds offer ideal breeding grounds for many bird species. The marine salt characteristics of the lake support Artemia salina, a small crustacean which produces the biogenic silt sapropel which is used for medical therapeutic activities. Potential threats are perceived from disturbances by tourists and local people accessing the area with motor vehicles, as well as a garbage dump near Techirghiol village. A management plan is expected to be completed in 2006. Ramsar site no. 1610. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Mures Floodplain. 02/02/06; Arad, Timis Counties; 17,166 ha; 46°13'N 021°09'E. Natural Park, IBA. Includes the length of the River Mures downstream from Arad to the Hungarian border. It consists of a high variety of ecosystems, a mixture of meadows, periodically flooded areas mainly covered with soft and hard wood forests, arable land and pastures, and about 40 isles on the river. The forest and old riverbed ecosystems, permanently or temporarily linked with the Mures, are among few examples of this type of habitat remaining in Europe. The present landscape results from the damming of the valley and the consequent agricultural transformation; as the lower floodplain is bordered by dams and high terraces, it is subjected to all the benefits and damage caused by floods, such as drying out of habitats in years of low flow and water-logging in high floods. Disturbance is caused by overgrazing as well as poaching of fish and game resources and introduced exotic tree species, especially Acer negundo. The main human activities are oil and timber harvesting, together with agriculture as well as sheep and cattle grazing. Amongst the many archaeological sites is the fortified settlement "Santul Mare"dating from the Bronze Age. The Hodos-Bodrog and Bezdin monasteries are also culturally important and the objective for ecumenical tourism. Ramsar site no. 1606.Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Old Danube-Macin Arm (Dunarea Veche-Bratul Macin). 02/02/2013; Braila, Tulcea, Constanta Counties; 26,792 ha; 44°59'01"N 028°09'14"E. Nature Reserve; SAC; SCI. The site is part of the Danube meadow and is situated in an important migration corridor, providing breeding, resting and feeding shelter for many IUCN Red Listed bird species. The landscape is characterized by lakes between sand dunes, marshes, shrub wetlands, fishponds, islands, canals and drainage channels all very rich in biodiversity. The site is also important for conservation of tree galleries of Populus alba and Salix alba. Some of the factors adversely affecting its ecological status are drainages, wind turbines, urbanization, grazing, hunting and poaching. In terms of ecosystem services, the site plays a very important hydrological regulatory role in reducing the effects of the Danube floods. Within the site the most important human activities are agriculture, forestry and fishing. Ramsar Site no. 2116. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Olt-Danube Confluence (Confluenta Olt-Dunare). 13/06/2012; Olt, Teleorman Counties; 46,623 ha; 43°45'43"N 024°43'53"E. Avian Protection Site, Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI), IBA. Containing natural stretches of rivers Olt and Danube, alluvial meadows and forests, riparian mixed forests, sand islands, oxbow and temporary lakes, the site offers an ideal habitat for many species of waterbirds. Vulnerable Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus can be found as well as 33 bird species of European importance which rest, feed and breed in the site, such as Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus. It is also important for different species of fish, amphibians and mammals. The site is used for agriculture, forestry, fishing, and recreational activities as well as hydropower production. Not having been much transformed by human use, many of the site's ecological functions are still intact and play an important role in flood protection and sediment trapping. The construction of hydropower plants, solid waste disposal, and poaching are some of the factors threatening the site. A transboundary Ramsar Site designation with Bulgaria is planned. Ramsar Site number: 2065. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Poiana Stampei Peat Bog (Tinovul Poiana Stampei). 25/10/11; Suceava County; 640 ha; 47°17'28"N, 025°05'57"E. Scientific Reserve, NATURA 2000. Considered the largest oligotrophic peat bog in Romania, the site is forested with pine Pinus silvestris f.turfosa and surrounded by spruce forest, which acts as a buffer zone. It includes several habitat types listed under the EU Habitats Directive and provides a shelter for internationally rare species of fauna and flora such as the Ligularia sibirica. Many invertebrates like rotifers, cladocers, copepods and insects can be found, and the peat bog also hosts species of endemic algae such as Batrachospermum dornense. Some of the plant species, such as moss Sphagnum wulfianum and fern Dryopteris cristata, are relict in Romania. The forest components of the site are important for the prevention of floods, especially during spring and rainy periods. The site plays a role in the purification of water and stores considerable amounts of carbon dioxide as the peat grows. It is mainly used for scientific research and educational purposes. High winds have resulted in serious tree damage, which is expected to lead to an increase in bark insect populations. Ramsar Site no. 2003. Most recent RIS information: 2011

Small Island of Braila. 15/06/01; Braila County; 17,586 ha; 44º58’N 027º55’E. Natural Reserve. A group of wetlands in the Lower Danube region, one of the rare areas along the river that has preserved its natural hydrological conditions and which contains a representative sample of habitats characteristic of floodplains as well as a former inland delta. Comprising seven small islands stretching over 61 km between two arms of the Danube just south (upstream) of Braila, Romania’s second largest city, the site is of major interest for at least 34 internationally protected bird species, two of which, Phalacrocorax pygmeus (pygmy cormorants) and Pelecanus crispus, are considered priorities for LIFE financing, and 65 species of fish. The wetlands perform important hydrological functions, particularly during seasonal inundations, and affect the local microclimate. The adjacent "Big Island of Braila", five times greater in size, was largely drained during the previous political era. Regional management plans in the past have tended toward intensive agriculture and aquaculture, but more recently sustainability has emerged as an objective. Ramsar site no. 1074.Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Suhaia. 13/06/12; Teleorman County; 19,594 ha; 43°44'17"N 025°11'33"E. Avian Protection Site, Natura 2000 (SPA), IBA. Located along a major migratory route and comprising Suhaia Lake, the Danube river, connecting channels, fishing ponds, reed beds, swamps and rice fields. The site offers habitat to numerous threatened species of birds which feed, rest and breed here, including 21 bird species of European importance as well as the globally vulnerable Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus. Moreover, several threatened species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals can be found, including the globally vulnerable European Mudminnow Umbra krameri. Suhaia Lake plays a significant role in groundwater replenishment and had an important flood control function prior to the embankment of the Danube. Human uses include aquaculture, agriculture, forestry and recreational activities. Illegal burning of vegetation, poaching and the overuse of fertilizers threaten the ecological character of the site. A transboundary Ramsar Site designation with Bulgaria is planned. Ramsar Site number: 2066. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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