The Annotated Ramsar List: Republic of Serbia

26/03/2012

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

SERBIA / SERBIE / SERBIA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 28 July 1977. UNESCO has informed the Ramsar Bureau that on 3 July 2001 the Federal Republic Yugoslavia accepted the Ramsar Convention as a successor State to the SFR of Yugoslavia, as of 27 April 1992. The country's name was changed to Serbia and Montenegro as of 4 February 2003.

Following the referendum of 21 May 2006, Montenegro and Serbia have altered their constitutional arrangements. The Republic of Serbia notified the Secretariat on 5 June 2006 that the Republic of Serbia continues to exercise its rights and honour its commitments deriving from international treaties concluded by Serbia and Montenegro.

The Republic of Serbia presently has 10 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 63,919 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

Gornje Podunavlje.20/11/2007; Vojvodina; 22,480 ha; 45°45'N 018°57' E. Special Nature Reserve; Important Plant Area; IBA. A marsh complex along 36km of the Danube River, forming a natural unity with the Gemenc and Kopacki Rit Ramsar sites in Hungary and Croatia respectively. The site is a unique mosaic of aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial ecosystems and an important centre of ecosystem, species, and genetic diversity. A large number of rare and nationally or internationally threatened plant species and their communities are supported, as well as vulnerable habitats. This area is the habitat of rare plant species such as winter aconite Eranthis hyemalis, water violet Hottonia palustris, and mare's tail Hippuris vulgaris, an important spawning place and a migratory route of fishes, a nesting place of the white-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla and the black stork Ciconia nigra, as well as the habitat of the largest population of the red deer Cervus elaphus in Serbia. Especially rich ethnic and folkloric traditions converge in the area, which is a centre for traditional festivals. Hunting and commercial and sport fishing are well developed, and controled forestry is practiced within the site. The effects of previous drainage and irrigation works present a threat, as do eutrophication and invasive alien species. Ramsar site no. 1737. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Koviljsko-Petrovaradinski Rit.08/03/12; Vojvodina; 8,292 ha; 45°10'40"N 020°04'10"E. Special Nature Reserve, IBA. A well preserved mosaic of river arms, ridges, meanders, canals, ponds, reed beds, wet meadows, marshes, pastures and forests along both sides of the Danube. This alluvial area is shaped by regular flooding and vegetation succession, as well as by human activities, and harbours large numbers of threatened plant species such as Water Violet Hottonia palustris and Four-leaved Clover Marsilea quadrifolia. It is crucial as a spawning ground for many fish species such as Sterlet Acipenser ruthenus and important for many birds, including Black Stork Ciconia nigra, amphibians like Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus, and diverse species of invertebrates, reptiles and mammals. It is used for forestry, hunting, traditional fishing as well as for cattle breeding to preserve native species of horses, donkeys and cows. Pristine landscapes, authentic settlements and monuments of cultural and historical significance make the site attractive as a tourist destination. Various factors threaten this site including the spread of invasive plant species, reed burning, illegal fishing and hunting, and infrastructure developments. Ramsar Site no. 2028. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Labudovo okno.01/05/06; Vojvodina; 3,733 ha; 44°48'N 021°18'E. IBA, Special Nature Reserve. Marking the southern margin of the Pannonian Plain, the site encompasses an important stretch of the Danube and adjacent areas as well as the Nera River to the border with Romania. Following the construction of the Iron Gate reservoir, the Danube water level rose and the river flow slowed down, causing the flooding of many river islets, lower coastal parts, and lagoons along the southern areas in the Deliblatska pešcara Sands and created new aquatic and wetlands habitats. Permanent rivers and freshwater marshes are the main wetlands types, comprising diverse aquatic and wetland communities as well as wet meadows and steppe pastures along the riverbanks. Shallow waters of the Danube provide an ideal spawning area for many of the 50 supported fish species, such as Silurus glanis, Stizostedion lucioperca and Acipenser ruthenus. The site is an important waterbird habitat, especially as a nesting and wintering site for a range of species such as pygmy cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmeus, little egret Egretta garzetta, white-fronted goose Anser albifrons, and common goldeneye Bucephala clangula. Besides the strict protection zone and small-scale forestry mainly on river islets, the site is mainly used for agricultural activities based on cattle and sheep grazing. Ramsar site no. 1655. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Ludaško Lake. 28/03/77; Vojvodina; 593 ha; 46º04’N 019º48’E. Regional Park; Nature Reserve. One of the few remaining natural lakes of the Panonian Plain. The shallow lake is fringed by extensive reedbeds and surrounded by marshland. The area is important for numerous species of breeding waterbirds, and an ornithological research station is located at the site. Principal human activities include fishing, hunting, reed cutting, and recreation. Ramsar site no. 137. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Obedska Bara.28/03/77; Vojvodina; 17,501 ha; 44º44’N 020º00’E. Nature Reserve. A seasonally inundated area of the Sava River floodplain, with marshes, ponds, wet meadows, and an oxbow lake. Vegetation includes reedbeds and Salix-Populus and Quercus woodland. The area is important for various species of breeding waterbirds. River regulation has adversely affected fish stocks at the site. The lake is subject to rapid siltation and nutrient-enrichment, resulting in the expansion of reedbeds and Salix scrub, to the exclusion of open water areas. Ramsar site no. 136. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Peštersko polje.01/05/06; Stari Vlah and Raška; 3,455 ha; 43°05'N 020°07'E. Situated at about 1150m altitude on the Sjenica-Pešter Plateau in southwestern Serbia.The site, which is part of the country's largest karst area, supports an extremely rare example of a specific wet peatbog habitat for this biogeographic region, including non-forested peatlands, permanent rivers, and seasonal freshwater marshes on inorganic soils. The Boroštica River and Lake are the most important hydrographic units and form the shape of pastures and natural ecosystems. Due to these conditions the site supports a number of endangered species, such as the plants Fumana bonapartei, Halacsya sendtneri and Orchis tridentata, and also provides habitat and refuge to a number of birds during unfavourable periods, such as during breeding season for the Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus, of which the only nesting place in Serbia is found in this area. The land use of the site is entirely based on traditional cattle breeding, with related pasturing meadow management. The ongoing draining and exploitation of peatbogs poses an important conservation issue for future management. Because of its isolated situation and the economy based on cattle breeding, a culture of Muslims and Christians has developed in the villages over centuries, and many of the traditional local dishes, particularly a wide variety of pies, are much appreciated. Ramsar site no. 1656. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Slano Kopovo.22/07/04; Vojvodina; 976 ha; 45º38'N 020º13'E. Special Nature Reserve; IBA. The site, left over from the draining of an ancient meander of the Tisza River, is a rare and representative example of salt habitats but presents also, on its eastern side, a smaller freshwater depression. It is one of Serbia's most important bird habitats and regularly supports more than 20,000 waterbirds, breeding and migrating. It is especially suitable for cranes, ducks, geese and shorebirds and supports a significant number of vulnerable, threatened and critically endangered species such as Numenius tenuirostris, Anser erythropus, Branta ruficollis, Oxyura leucocephala, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Otis tarda, the rodent Spermophilus citellus, and plant communities such as the rare Thero-Salicornietea specific to salty grounds. The area is threatened by a decrease in water level, as the drying up of the depressions during summer and autumn is becoming more frequent, caused chiefly by the development of a channel web and dam construction on the Tisza which has lowered the level of the underground waters. Other negative factors are plowing of pastures, use of chemicals and artificial fertilizers for agriculture. Human activities include regulated hunting, livestock husbandry, agriculture, and the use of mud for curing ailments. There is a high potential of scientific research and conservation education. Church remnants from the 9th-11th centuries exist on site. Conservation priorities concern the sanitation and improvement of the water regime. Ramsar Site no. 1392. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Stari Begej/Carska Bara Special Nature Reserve. 25/03/96; Serbia; 1,767 ha; 45º15’N 020º23’E. Special Nature Reserve. The site, a remnant of the once flooded area in the lower Begej River, is a mosaic of fishponds, swamp, marsh, forest, meadow, and steppe intersected by rivers, canals, and embankments. Vegetation consists of salt-tolerant communities, a rich aquatic flowering plant community, and steppe vegetation. Of the 250 recorded bird species, 140 species nest at the site and 100 pass through on migration. Notably, all eight European heron species and  Anser anser nest at the site. The diversity of biotopes gives rise to high species diversity at the site and includes various rare, endangered, or vulnerable fish, birds, plants, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Human activities include recreation, birdwatching, sport fishing, and some traditional agricultural. There is an important commercial fishery nearby. Ramsar site no. 819. Most recent RIS information: 1994.

Vlasina.20/11/2007; Serbia; 3,209 ha; 42°42'N 022°21'E. Landscape of Outstanding Features; IBA. Comprises the Vlasinsko reservoir (created in 1949) and surrounding gently rolling hills, jagged shore, wet meadows, peat bogs, and the valley of the River Vlasina, along with two islands and several narrow and elongated peninsulas with many meadows and birch thickets, giving the site a characteristic and unique appearance. The peat island and peat bogs represent one of the most important refuges of the boreal flora in southern Europe in general. The site harbors many rare and threatened vegetal and animal species. More than 125 bird species are recorded, amongst them the endangered corncrake (Crex crex) which nests every year within the site and on sloping meadows of the surrounding mountains, as well as a colony of sand martins (Riparia riparia) with around 300 active nests, unique in this biogeographical region. Prior to creation of the reservoir, the Vlasinsko Blato, or peat bog, was considered the largest peat bog in the Balkans and one of the largest in Europe. There are 1,400 farming households in the area, but the human population is declining as in other mountainous areas of Serbia. Sport fishing and other recreation, as well as tourism, supplement small-scale farming. Ramsar site no. 1738. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

Zasavica. 13/03/08; Vojvodina; 1,913 ha;  44°56’N 019°32’E. Special Nature Reserve, IBA (Important Bird Area). Located in northern Macva, the riverine ecosystem dominates the area south of the river Sava, with the rivulet Zasavica and its tributary the Batar, for the total length of 33 km. Aquatic and swampy ecosystems line up along with fragments of floodable meadows and forests representing one of the last preserved pristine swamp areas in Serbia. The natural conditions are favorable for many rare plant and animal species, such as greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua), water violet (Hottonia palustris), marsh nettle (Urtica kioviensis), freshwater sponge (Spongilla lacustris), a rare species of oligochaete (Rynchelmnis limnosela), Danube crested newt (Triturus dobrogicus), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) as well as otter (Lutra lutra) and beaver (Castor fiber). It is also the only habitat of the mudminnow, Umbra krameri, in Serbia. Traditional grazing and cattle breeding, particularly of autochthonous races, along with the several centuries’ long usage of the area, supports the maintenance of grassland habitats within the Reserve. Zasavica has inspired many legends and myths, and it is woven into the cultural being of the people. Ramsar site no. 1783. Most recent RIS information: 2008.

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