The Danube Delta, Last Wild Delta in Europe

The DANUBE DELTA is a typical aquatic region, the fauna and flora of the area being a living proof. The terrestrial habitat is also present, on witch a xerophile flora and typical fauna is growing. Between these two habitats the swampy, marshy, easily flooded area is interpassing with its typical flora and fauna, with the posibility of fast-adjustment (water/land) depending on the season and yearly hydrological fluctuation.

The DANUBE DELTA has a totall suface of 5640 of which 4470 is on Romanian teritory. The aspect of the Delta is of a triangle, base and height equal-80km. Yearly, the quantity of transported water (barely), 50 milion tons, 8 times more than the Tibrus, and 20 times more that the Rhine. Ychthyofauna - There are more than 110 species of fish: pike, carp, wells, barbel, asp, perch, Danube mackerel, marine sturgeon, sterlet. In the lakes are to be found species like: tench, roach, crucian carp, silver bream.

The Danube Delta ornithofauna is unique in the world, summing up to a total of 280 species - 177 are hatching species and 103 are not; 44 hatching species are sedentaries and 133 migratories. The non-hatching species are winter visitors only, or just passing in spring and autumn. By its geographical origin the birds are of the following types: -pontical, sarmathian, Black Sea, Elba and Carphatian.

Law protects 10 species - some of them being declared nature monuments. This protected species can be divided as:

WHITE MONUMENTS (after their plummage ) - Common and Dalmatian pelicans, spoonbills, great white egret and small egret, the mute and singing swan.

POLICHROME MONUMENTS - whose feathering combines white and black with green, yellow, brown, blue: ruby sheldrakes, avocets, sea-eagles ..... are just some of them. The marshy and flooded areas bring to attention - tufted ducks, ferrouginons ducks, red crested pochards, mallards, greylang goose, pygmy cormorant, purple heron, glossy ibis, etc. During the winter season we can find in the Danube Delta - red breasted geese, swans, wild ducks, bald coots.

MAMMALS - a large number and variety of mammals live in all the higher areas not reached by the waters. Some of them are: wild boar, wild cat, hare, enot dog, fox, muskrat. We must also add the tortoise, the adder and the colonies of snakes on the islands of Razim lake.

Prevailing emerse - reeds, mace reed, sedge, dutch rush, brook mint, grey willow, white poplars. The floating reed islet formation is a mixture of reed roots, herbs and sand soil, usually floating or fixed on the bottom. Letea and Caraorman - with sand dune relief, oak forests intermingle with liana, giving a tropical aspect.In 1990 the Danube Delta together with the lagoon complex of Razim - Sinoe has been declared a Biosphere Reservation. Documentary - information centers have been organised at Crisan and Sulina. Only together we can save this absolute wonder of the planet!!

Danube Delta is situated at the cross of the 45 paralel - north latitude - with the 29 meridian-east longitude. The real surface of the Danube Delta is 5640 sqrm, out of which the greatest part is situated on the Romanian teritory, respectively 4470 sqrm; has been formed in a gulf starting from the Upper Pleistocene, by creating an offshore bar who had closed it and transformed it into a lagoon. Danube Delta has evoluated in close connection with the three Danubian arms: Sf. Gheorghe, Sulina and Chilia. Danube Delta is maintaining its characteristics as a plane region; positive forms of the relief called "grinduri" have different genesis: marine level (Letea, Caraorman, Saraturile, Crasnicol, etc.), river banks, continental lands (Chilia, Stipoc). Another morphogeographical categories are: lakes, wetland, arms, streamlets and main channels.

At the end of 2860 km coverd from its springs (Blak Forest Mountains - Germany) till the Black Sea (ancient Pontus Euxinus) the Danube river is building up for more than 10000 years one of the most beautiful delta in Europe, and the twenty-third on the Earth, by the richness of its landscape and of its fauna- among which birds hold the first place - the Danube Delta presents a very particular interest from scientific, touristic and economical points of view. In the Danube Delta the climate is continental influenced by the vecinity of the Black Sea. The values of the main climatic parameters are: lowest nebulousness, 70 days with blue sky, 2500 hours/year of sun shining, between 11-11,4C the average yearly temperature, precipitations between 350 - 450 mm/year.

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