Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve GENERAL PRESENTATION <ul><li>The single delta in the world declared a biosphere reserve </li></ul><ul><li>Year of establishment: 1990 </li></ul><ul><li> Surface 580 000 ha - 2,5 % of Romania’s surface (The 22 nd delta in the world and the 3 rd delta in Europe, after Volga and Kuban) </li></ul><ul><li>One of the worldwide largest wetland , especially a waterfowl habitat </li></ul><ul><li>The greatest reedbed expanses worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>A real natural museum of biodiversity, which includes 30 types of ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>A natural genetic bank with incalculable value for the worldwide natural heritage </li></ul>
The Genesis of the Delta The Delta was formed some 10 000 years ago, when seawaters retreated from the land. Its origins are lost in the Ice Age, when the Northern part of the Dobrogea plateau started to sink slowly. • The Delta formed in a gulf of the Black Sea and had several stages of evolution. The Danube Delta evolved in direct connection with its main river branches: Sfantu Gheorghe (the oldest), Chilia and Sulina (the youngest).
The international recognition · The universal value of the reserve was recognized by the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme of UNESCO in 1990, through its inclusion in the international network of biosphere reserves. · From September 1990, the DDBR was listed as a wetland of international importance especially as waterfowl habitat under the Ramsar Convention · The universal natural heritage value of the reserve was recognized in December 1990 by the inclusion of the strictly protected areas in the World Heritage List under the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention . · The value of its natural heritage and the efficiency of the management plan applied in DDBR were recognized in 2000 by the Council of Europe who awarded the European Diploma of protected areas for the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.
BIOSPHERE RESERVE The biosphere reserves are the protected areas which preserve the integrality, the functionality and other natural features of some natural ecosystems, which contribute through their existence to the continuous regeneration of the biosphere fundamental resources and where the population is an integrant. The concept of biosphere reserve has been adopted within the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere" Programme launched in 1971, to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere.
Types of zones in a Biosphere Reserve <ul><li>strictly protected areas , which are relatively unspoiled places with excellent examples of terrestrial and wetland ecosystems and generally support the most sensitive species and valuable resources; </li></ul><ul><li>2. buffer zones , which are designated to ameliorate the impact of human activities on ecosystems and where are encouraged some traditional economic activities of the local population; </li></ul><ul><li>3. transition areas , that make the connection between the reserve and the regional socio-economic development processes. </li></ul>
BIODIVERSITY <ul><li>One of the biggest wetlands of the world - as a habitat for aquatic bird </li></ul><ul><li>A real museum for biodiversity , </li></ul><ul><li>o with 30 types of ecosystems, </li></ul><ul><li>o 5 137 species, of which : </li></ul><ul><li>§ 1 689 flora species and </li></ul><ul><li>§ 3 448 fauna species </li></ul><ul><li>o molluscs (86 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o insects (2 219 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o fish (125 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o amphibians (10 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o reptiles (11 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o birds (325 species) </li></ul><ul><li>o mammals (42 species) </li></ul>
Here are some images with the Delta's wonderful wildlife Crane(Grus grus) Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) Black Headed Gull Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus Both in flight and at rest the long red legs are characteristic, but even if these are hidden in water of unknown depth, the pure white underparts and jet-black upperparts are distinctive enough When walking slowly in shallow water, they raise each foot above the surface as they proceed, putting it down again very daintily, the proceeding giving the effect of a consciously elegant, if not mincing, gait When danger threatens they squat close to the ground, remaining motionless, and are very difficult to detect, particularly if among stones; though they also have a wonderful faculty for hiding themselves in short grass.” . .
White pelican (Pelecanus onocr o t a lus) Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus)
<ul><li>Over 300 species of bird have been recorded in the Danube Delta, of which over 176 species breed the most important being : </li></ul><ul><li>cormorant 61% of the world population, </li></ul><ul><li>white pelican 50% of the world's breeding population, </li></ul><ul><li>Dalmatian pelican 5% of the world population. Lake Rosca , strictly protected reserve is home to Europe's largest white pelican colony. It is the place where thousands of common pelican pairs associates with tens and even hundreds of curly pelicans pairs and of big cormorants, in a landscape reminding of the Jurassic Park. Only specialists are allowed in the colonies. </li></ul>
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis are easily identified by their all-dark plumage , long, down-curved, curlew-like bills and a neck which is held outstretched in flight . At close range you can see the iridescent green, maroon and brown sheen which gives the bird its name. They are sociable birds, often feeding in small parties or flying over in a trailing line or in 'V' formation.
Great white egret (Egretta alba) It has extremely long legs and neck. Its neck is longer than its body, and is held in a distinctive kink. Great Egrets feed on mostly fish, but will also take frogs, insects, snakes. During the drier months, the bird will stalk small mammals, snails and nesting birds. Great Egrets nest in colonies together with other egrets and herons such as Grey and Purple Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons and Milky Storks. The Great Egret's beautiful breeding feathers where in huge demand for hat decorations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, the greatest threat is the destruction of their wetland habitat (draining, pollution, drought and floods). They are also killed as a pest on fish farms, and their nests raided for eggs.
Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) Spoonbills are mostly white like an egret but with bigger fatter bodies and, of course, those flattened, spoon-shaped bills. The breeding bird is all white except for its dark legs, black bill with a yellow tip, and a yellow breast patch like a pelican. It has a crest in the breeding season. Feeding birds swing their heads, sweeping their bills from side to side through the water. Juveniles have paler bills and black wing tips but it is unusual to find birds like these with so much grey in their plumage. In flight the neck and legs are out-stretched but held below the level of the body .
The Red-breasted Goose is classified as VULNERABLE by Birdlife Inte rnational . It is under threat from intensification of agriculture , industrialisation , hunting particularly along its migration route through Russia. Red-breasted Goose breeds in arctic Europe, often close to nests of large birds of prey, such as Peregrine Falcons. This helps to protect this small goose from predators such as the Arctic Fox. The goose winters in south eastern Europe. RED-BREASTED GOOSE ( Branta ruficollis ) The bird is unmistakeable, but can be surprisingly difficult to find amongst Brent Geese due to its small size. The red also tends to look black at long distances. Roughly 60 000 birds winter in Romania, with 15 000 in Bulgaria. 2 500-3 000 birds winter in the Ukraine. This represents the entire world population.
With beautifully defined blocks of colour, the red-breasted goose is easily recognisable. The fore-neck, breast and sides of the head are chestnut red bordered with white. The wings , back and fore-belly are charcoal black, with a bright white stripe running down the side to the white rear belly. The short neck and dark belly stand out in flight, and when seen from above two crescent-shaped stripes are visible on each wing. Juveniles are less well defined, and duller in colour. The red-breasted goose is legally protected in many key states, and parts of the breeding and wintering ranges are protected, but hunting continues regardless
Purple heron ( Ardea purpurea ) Purple Herons are shy and solitary hunters , and appear to hunt mostly at night continuing into the early morning. They don't often wade in deep water and prefer to stand-and-wait in cover, staying motionless for long periods in shallow water or perched on low dense trees and bushes. Their slim bills are large and strong enough to kill even large snakes. Their long necks give them a long and powerful reach.
European Kingfisher ( Alcedo atthis) A kingfisher is a superb sight dressed in cobalt-blue and orange-chestnut. Bright sealing-wax red legs and feet add a final touch of colour. All one usually sees, however, is a flash of brilliant blue. The bird travels as such high speed that it is almost impossible to see the whirring wings. Unfortunately, many people know it only from books. Birds summering in northern Europe, where waters are closed by ice in winter, show the strongest migratory movements. Central European populations are partially migratory and thus affected by severe weather.
It usually flies near the water, but during courtship the male chases the female through and over the trees with loud shrill whistles. It is frequent beside lakes, ponds, canals or dykes and streams. It eats aquatic insects, fish, shrimps. The eggs are pink. The general colour of the upper parts of the adult bird is bright metallic blue, cobalt on the back, and showing greenish reflections on the head and wings. The ear coverts and under parts are warm chestnut, the chin and sides of neck white. The bill is black and reddish orange at the base; the legs are bright red. In the young the bill is black. Length averages 19 cm (7.5 inches) and wings average 7.5 cm (2.95 inches).
THE FUNCTIONS OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES: <ul><li>To preserve and protect the existing natural heritage for future generations; </li></ul><ul><li>• To promote traditional and sustainable use of resources provided by the natural ecosystems of the reserves; </li></ul><ul><li>• To attain a balanced relationship between people and the natural world without harming the environment. </li></ul>