Moldova names Ramsar site along Dniester River
Republic of Moldova names Unguri-Holosnita for the Ramsar List
The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Moldova has named its third Wetland of International Importance, effective 14 September 2005: Unguri - Holosnita (15,553 hectares; 48º17'N 028º03'E) in Soroca and Ocnita counties. As summarized by Ramsar's Dorothea August, based upon information provided with the designation, the site includes high rocky, crumbling-sloughing slopes and narrow flood-land of the Dniester River's left bank, in the northeastern part of the country near the border with Ukraine. The Dniester includes wide, shallow segments here with little islands, small rivers and short creeks feeding the stream and forming steep canyons. Fluvial forests are formed by poplar associations with an admixture of willows, ash and elm, with riparian willow formations. Native communities of light forest such as fresh oak, damp oak and Pinus pallasiana forests are covering the steep limestone slopes of the Dniester River canyon. The most numerous waterfowl and waders during forage and seasonal migrations are ducks, e.g. Anas platyrhynchos, A.querquedula, and A. strepera, which also predominate amongst wintering birds.
Agriculture provides the main sources of economic life, supplemented by livestock farming and traditional fishing, which is losing its economic value as fish resources became scarce as a result of strong variations of discharge levels from the Novodnestrovsk hydropower station. The concept of the National Ecological Network of Moldova presupposes the creation of the Dniester Ecological Corridor of international importance in this transboundary area, which touches upon Ukrainian territory.
There are more than sixty sites of cultural, geological, paleontological and archeological interest in the area, along with a settlement of Old Believers in the village of Pocrovca.
The BIOTOCA Ecological Society in Chisinau was extremely helpful to the government in the preparation for this site designation.
The Unguri - Holosnita site represents Moldova's third Wetland of International Importance, and its second along the Dniester. This is Ramsar site no. 1500, which means that there are presently 1464 sites in all.