The Danube Delta


The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga. The Danube Delta covers 799,000 ha, 65,000 ha of which are strictly protected. Approximately 80% of the Danube Delta lies in Romanian and 20% in Ukrainian territory.

As Europe's largest remaining natural wetland, the Danube Delta is one of the continent's most valuable habitats for wetland wildlife and biodiversity. The Danube Delta hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 freshwater fish species in its numerous lakes and marshes.

In 1991, it was designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, inscribed on the World Heritage List and internationally recognised as a Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme in 1990.

In the Delta, the Danube splits into three main branches: the Kiliya branch, the Sulina branch and the Sfântu Gheorghe branch. The Kiliya Branch forms the border between Ukraine and Romania.

There are two Biosphere Reserves covering most of the Delta.

The Biosphere Reserve in Romania lies on the coast of the Black Sea in the eastern part of country, located in Tulcea County, and encompasses the area between the Kiliya, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe branch and the lagoon complex Razim - Sinoie. The overall basic hydrological and ecological systems of the Romanian Delta, although strongly degraded, are considered intact.

The Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine covers mainly the outer delta of the Kiliya arm and protects the only growing part of the entire delta. Apart from the Kiliya outer delta, the Reserve in Ukraine includes Ermakov Island and the Stensovsko-Zebriyansky Plavni area.

The most important species in the delta are the White Pelican (4,000 - 4,500 pairs, 52% of the Palearctic population), Dalmatian Pelican (estimated at 450 - 500 pairs on the floating islands on lake Hrecisca and Sinoie, which represents 9% of the world breeding population), Pygmy Cormorant (9,500 pairs comprising 61% of the world's population), Ferruginous Duck (4,000 pairs), Night Heron (2,660 - 3,200 pairs), Glossy Ibis (2,000 - 3,200 pairs), Little Egret (1,700 - 2,400 pairs), Spoonbill (360 - 440 pairs), Purple Heron (700 - 800 pairs), White-tailed Eagle (25 - 30 pairs), Saker Falcon (2 - 4 pairs).

The Delta is also very important for fish with 45 freshwater species present, including the endangered sturgeons.


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Location: Bulgaria


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Danube Delta | Ramsar site | Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve