BIOSPHERE RESERVES IN ROMANIA
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
Retezat National Park
Rodna National Park
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is the largest and least
damaged wetland complex in Europe, covering a total area of 580,000 ha. The significance
of the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has been internationally acknowledged. It was
declared a Biosphere Reserve in September 1990, a Ramsar site in May 1991, and more than
50 % of its area was placed on the World Heritage List in December 1991. One of the most
extensive reed bed systems in Europe lies within its boundaries. The
Danube Delta has considerably more breeding species than other south European deltas;
including a major portion of the world population of pygmy cormorant, half of the
Palearctic breeding population of white pelican and 5% of the world breeding population of
Dalmatian pelican. It is likely that the Delta is one of the last European refuges of the
European mink and there is also a number of other important small carnivore species living
in the Danube Delta.
A number of 18 strictly protected areas with a total surface of 50,600 ha were delineated within the reserve. The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is the only protected area in Romania with an administrative structure, a management plan and its own law.
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Retezat National Park, located in the western part of
Romania, is the oldest national park, being established by law in 1935. The park has a
surface of 54,400 ha, 1,800 ha of which have been declared as strictly protected area
called "Gemenele". The universal value of the park was recognised by the UNESCO
"Man and Biosphere" Programme in 1979 through its inclusion in the international
network of biosphere reserves. In the lower part of the park
there are deep narrow valleys, while the higher parts consists of glacial plateaux with
more than 80 glacial lakes.The largest single area of pristine mixed forest in Europe
covers the lower levels of the strictly protected area. The vegetation is rich, and
because of its location between different vegetation zones, 5.2% endemic plant species are
present, among them Draba dorneri, which can be found only on a small area. The
Retezat Mountains are considered to be the European genetic centre for Poa and Hieracium.
Viable populations of large mammals, including brown bear, wolf, lynx, wildcat, wild boar,
roe and red deer, and chamois populate the area, together with a large number of small
carnivores including at least 8 species of mustelids (badger, otter etc.).
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Rodna National Park represents the largest protected area
located in the northern group of the Eastern Carpathians, covering a surface of 56,700 ha.
In 1980 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO - MAB Programme. The massif
is dominated by metamorphic formations belonging to the Precambrian or Palaeozoic periods
with slopes reaching 20 - 350. The carst from the northern part of Rodna Mountains is one
of the few places in the Romanian Carpathians where typical exocarstic forms occur. These
forms of morphostructural conditioning bestow uniqueness to the limestone surfaces here.
The flora is significant due to the presence of the local and Carpathian endemic species
together with glacial relicts. The vertebrate fauna is extremely diverse, including large
birds, such as black grouse, capercaillie and eagles, as well as large carnivores (lynx,
brown bear and wolf). There are nine reserves (IUCN category I and IV) and one natural
monument located within the boundaries of the Park.
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