The Annotated Ramsar List: Moldova

14/06/2012

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA / RÉPUBLIQUE DE MOLDAVIE / REPÚBLICA DE MOLDOVA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the Republic of Moldova on 20 October 2000. Moldova presently has 3 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 94,705 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

Lower Dniester (Nistru de Jos). 20/08/03; Tighina, Slodozia; 60,000 ha; 46 34'N 29 49'E; Nature Reserves; Landscape Reserve; Nature Monuments (paleontological). The designation of this part of the Dniester River in southeastern Moldova helps to complete the conservation of transboundary wetland the Dniester delta, with two Ramsar sites downstream in Ukraine. This complex of relict and transformed habitats of the Dniester floodplain includes meandering zones with almost closed river loops typical for the northwest of the Black Sea basin, lakes and oxbows formed by river roaming, specific ash communities and unique old stand floodland poplar forest, Fraxineto-Populeta (albae). The site supports many globally endangered and vulnerable bird species among which 2 are nesting (Crex crex, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus), 4 are present on migration (Branta ruficollis, Aythya nyroca, Circus macrourus, Haliaeetus albicilla), 1 regular visitor (Pelicanus crispus), and fish such as the Danube Salmon (Hucho hucho), the European Mud-minnow (Umbra krameri) and various species of sturgeons. The wetland is an important site for freshwater migratory fish as it supports more than 90% of the species of the region and offers a high diversity of biotopes: riverbed spawning ground, areas of pelagic spawning and nursery. However, the construction of dams in the Dniester valley has affected the terrestrial, aquatic and intermediate ecosystems and large areas of important meadow spawning grounds were lost. Grazing is also considered as an important disturbance. The site has recognized paleontological and archaeological value since the discovery of fossils and places such as tumuli, Cimmerian, Ghetic, Sarmatic and Slavic memorials. The RIS and the management plans of this site were prepared in 2001 during a Ramsar Small Grant Funds project. The creation of a Lower Dniester National Park is under discussion. Ramsar site no. 1316. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Lower Prut Lakes.20/06/00. Judet Cahul. 19,152 ha. 45º42’N 028º11’E. The River Prut forms the western border of the site as well as the state border with Romania, and the site extends to the river’s confluence with the Danube. Consisting of Ramsar Wetland Types O (permanent freshwater lakes), M (permanent river), and 1 (fish ponds), the site is considered to fulfil Criteria 2 on vulnerable species and especially 3 on biodiversity. Lakes Beleu and Manta are unique ecosystems, described as the last natural floodplains in the lower Danube region. The system is important for groundwater recharge, flood control, and sediment trapping, and it supports an imposing list of rare and threatened species of flora and fauna. A number of heritage sites can be seen in the area, including some of Roman Emperor Trajan’s wall (ca.100 A.D.). Fish harvests have been decreasing markedly in recent years, forests are generally seen to be deteriorating, and quite a few adverse conservation factors have been listed as requiring attention. A management plan is in preparation, particularly in hopes of creating a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve over more or less the same site. Ramsar site no. 1029. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Unguri - Holosnita.14/09/05; Soroca, Ocnita, 15,553 ha; 48º17'N 028º03'E. Landscape Reserve, Nature Monument. High rocky, crumbling-sloughing slopes and narrow flood-land of the Dniester River's left bank, in northeastern Moldova 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. 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. 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 helpful in the preparation for this site designation. Ramsar site no. 1500. Most recent RIS information: 2005.

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