Danube Delta: did you know ? | RomaniaForAll.com
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Danube Delta: did you know ?

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- Danube Delta is the largest and most remarkable river wetlands in Europe.
- Danube Delta is the largest home for over 300 year-round & migratory species of birds.
- Danube Delta is still increasing on a yearly basis (67 million tons of alluvium/year).
- Danube Delta’s biodiversity is close to the famous Australia’s Great Reef.
- Danube Delta has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage in 1991, with several areas off-limits for the tourists (more than 50% of the biosphere reserve is intact).

A paradise for birds and fish, a wonderful touristic region, a valuable scientific area, spreading over 5,050 km2 (of which 4,340 km2 in Romania and the rest in Ukraine), the Danube Delta is considered to be the largest and most compact reed area in the world, the richest ornithological fauna in the world (over 300 species), the youngest land in Europe, the widest sand dunes in Romania, the area with the lowest fogginess, the lowest elevation of a city (Sulina – 3.5 m).

General Information

Danube Delta has been declared a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site, and a UNESCO protected area being one of Romania’s leading attractions, and a very particular place in Europe.

The Danube Delta has the third largest biodiversity in the world (over 5,500 flora & fauna species) spreading over 5,050 km2 of marshes, canals, reed islets and lakes, offering a sanctuary for birds, fish, and animals. This natural reservation hosts the largest wetlands in Europe, more than 60% of the Danube Delta’s area is unspoiled by the human touch, so it offers the unique opportunity to observe the incredible beauty of the Danube Delta landscapes and all the treasures lying in it.

This special place, Europe’s best preserved delta is considered to be the largest and most compact reed bed area on the planet, and is sheltering spectacular wildlife highlights.

Its waterways and marshes are home for 45 freshwater fish species – the main being European sturgeonDanube sturgeonstarry sturgeon and sterlet – bearers of caviar; carps, pikes, zanders, makerels, grey mullets, breams, tenches, sheat fishes – a “tough choice land” for the fishermen.

The Danube Delta is the ideal place for the migratory birds flying from the Equator and heading to the northern Europe, and also for the year-round birds, the natural reservation hosting over 300 bird species - among these species, there are white and Dalmatian pelicans, red-breasted geese, cormorants, wild ducks, white-tailed eagles, storks, herons, white and red shelducks, flamingos, swans - most of them protected by law. This density of birds is unmatched anywhere else in the world, therefore the Danube Delta is a birdwatchers’ paradise.

Interesting Facts

End of the journey for the most international river in the world
The Danube River is unique because during its journey from Germany’s Black Forest Mts to Romania it flows through 9 countries and 4 European capitals (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade). The Danube Delta marks the end of the road for the Danube River, just before it flows into the Black Sea.
Still growing
Even though the Danube Delta started to form itself thousand of years ago, its beautiful landscape is ever-changing. Roughly 67 million tons of alluvium/year make their way to the delta, so this genuine paradise is slightly increasing on a yearly basis.
3 interesting channels
Covering over 2,000 square miles, the Danube Delta has an intricate network of channels spread between the 3 main ones – Chilia, Sulina and Sf. Gheorghe – have their own “personalities” and individual attractions.
Biodiversity - close to Australia’s Great Reef
Over 5,000 species, plants & animals have been identified in the Danube Delta, and considering the various habitat types that exist in this area the numbers of animals and plants is estimated to be even bigger. The biodiversity present in the Danube Delta is almost as great and amazing as the one found in Australia’s Great Coral Reef.
Europe’s largest wetlands
Even outranked by the Volga Delta in Europe, it is the largest and most remarkable river wetlands on this continent. The Danube Delta is also the largest reed bed expanse in the world, measuring over 600,000 acres (30% of the Europe’s glossy ibis population nest along the reed beds).

Over 50% intact biosphere reserve
The Danube Delta has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage in 1991, with several areas currently off-limits for the tourists. Nowadays, more than 50% of the biosphere reserve is intact, and the entire area is split into zones, to control the tourism, fishing and hunting.
12 habitat types
The unique and breathtaking landscapes have been classified into 12 distinct habitat types (from deep aquatic to forests growing on high land). The strangest habitats found in the Danube Delta are the sandbanks that that are formed by the alluvium deposited by the Danube River or by the waters of the Black Sea.

Birdwatcher’s paradise

The Danube Delta is the largest home for over 300 year-round & migratory species of birds. Danube Delta hosts to the largest population of pelicans in Europe.

Home to endangered fish & animal species
This delta is among the last remaining places on Earth that are still home to endangered species of animals, birds and fish (otter, red-breasted goose, various species of pelicans and pygmy cormorants).
Rich cultural heritage
The Danube Delta is one of the best preserved deltas in the world; a place still not completely spoiled by the touch of man and with a small population (15.000 inhabitants). Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Roman cultures tracks are still present.

Touristic sites

TULCEA - the regions’ main city, the entry gate into the Danube Delta, an ancient Roman settlement of Aegissus (VIIIth century BC) and has remained an important port town, industrial center. Things to see: The Danube Delta MuseumSt. Nicholas CathedralAzizyie Mosque.

CRISAN – a village situated on the banks of Danube’s river Sulina arm, it is the main starting point for boat trips, towards north (Mila 23MatitaLetea) and south (CaraormanLitcovRosu).

MURIGHIOL - situated 40 km far from Tulcea, this village is settled on the Sf. Gheorghe arm, providing camping ground and motel facilities.

UZLINA – remote village, 65 km far from Tulcea: good for birdwatchers’ due to the big amount of birds (pelicans included), who build their nests in the proximity.

SULINA – the easternmost point of Romania, is the port depicted by the Romanian writer Jean Bart in his novel “Europolis”Sulina has a very long beach huge, with fine sand.

SFANTU GHEORGHE –  a fishermen community specialized in sturgeon fishing, a type of fish which can only be found in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Nice lighthouse (57 m high).

GURA PORTITEI – the place where the Danube waters meet the Black Sea, an interesting place for wildlife travelers eager to experience the sunrise in a very special place.