Romania designates a Natural Park
Iron Gates Natural Park (115 666 ha; N 44°41’ E 21°56’) is located in Caras Severin and Mehedinti Counties and is listed as a 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.
Pictures by Amalia Raluca Bălăşoiu and the Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies (CCMESI)