Romania has named its 20th Wetland of International Importance. Jijia - Iasi Wetlands (no. 2422 on the List of Wetlands of International Importance) is composed of a variety of habitats that surround the lower stretch of the Jija river, before it flows into the Prut river which marks the border with Moldova.
The wetlands’ habitats include temporary rivers and ponds, reed beds, grassy marshes, pastures, shrub areas and a few patches of forest along with arable land. Spring floods can cover almost the entire area, transforming the landscape into a large water body. In 1970, a plan to regulate flooding led to the establishment of water supply connections for nearby communities and numerous human-made ponds for fisheries.
The wetland is important for its biodiversity, as around 200 species included in international protection lists have been recorded. Overall, the area hosts 225 bird species – 140 of which use it as breeding grounds – reaching over 40,000 individuals recorded during migration periods, the most abundant being white stork (Ciconia ciconia), greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), greylag goose (Anser anser) and ruff (Philomachus pugnax). The most notable impacts to the wetland are land conversion and drainage for agricultural purposes.