The Danube Delta is the largest continuous marshland in Europe and a critical site for bird conservation.
The Delta is on the flyway between central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and Middle East and Africa. It is also the major site for two threatened species, the pygmy cormorant and the red-breasted goose.
The area consists of a low alluvial plain, mostly covered by wetlands and water. There is an intricate pattern of marshes, channels, streamlets and lakes.
At inscription, IUCN suggested that the site should be extended with the Ukrainian part of the Delta (the Dunay Ramsar site).
Visit September 2010
I explored part of the Delta by boat. It was a standard tour of about 6 hours provided by Hotel Delta in Tulcea. I was in a group of 18, however the ship can hold many more. We navigated mainly to the north, in the area of Lake Lung and Lake Nebunu. On our way we encountered several other tour boats, as well as speed boats and even canoos. Dozens of fishermen dotted the shores.
Navigating these canals and streams by boat is a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours. I sat at the front and did my best to spot as many birds as possible. What we saw: White Pelican, Cormorant, Egret, Glossy Ibis, Heron, Kingfisher and many waterfowl. I saw a lot more than I have photos - it's very difficult to come up close because of the noise of the boat.
What also catches the eye are the many plastic bottles that have been left in the water and on the shores. This part of the Delta is relatively well accessible from the bigger cities like Tulcea, and probably a lot of locals go fishing and camping here. I expect the part closer to the Black Sea to be more pristine.
john booth - December 2012
After my immersion amongst the churches of northern Romania it was a pleasure to get back to nature. The varied bird life of the Danube Delta provided the necessary respite.
I reached Tulcea by bus from the railhead of Braila and straight away embarked on the afternoon ferry down the Sulina Channel. Disembarking at Crisan I found that my guesthouse there had arranged a small boat to take me into the narrow channels of the Delta. Passing through several lakes of the Caraorman district I saw abundant bird life coming home to roost in the late afternoon sunlight.
Solivagant - June 2005
As no-one has yet reviewed the Danube Delta so I will provide a “partial” report! It is the largest river delta in Europe (assuming the Volga is not!) and has suffered relatively little from human interference compared with others such as the Rhone. To get to its heart and experience its full size and remoteness you should probably take a ferry/hydrofoil into the interior where the villages are not accessible by road. There are however some roads extending part way into the Delta which reach villages where you can hire a small boat and these seemed to me to give a reasonable feeling for the countryside and way of life of the people as well as giving access to some of the birdlife for which the Delta is famous and which we had primarily come to see.
We concentrated on the southern area around the villages of Agighiol and the “road-head” at Murighiol together with Lake Razelm (all within the inscribed area). You can see one of the main channels nearby with large boats steaming up and down but the glory of the Delta is to be found in the lakes and reed beds and the examples of human and wildlife they support. The villages are full of thatched houses (photo) and exude a rural atmosphere. The horizons are enormous and the birdlife fine even for those who are not birdwatchers!
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Full name: Danube Delta
1991 - InscribedReasons for inscription
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- Prison The AB eval states "Conditions for the workers on state farms (on the newly-created polders) are reported to be extremely bad (attempts to introduce eco-farming in the near future)(IUCN-EEP, 1991); they lack basic infrastructures and the work is unpopular. It is reported that the state farms were used as prison camps"
- Animal Migrations The Delta is the major wetland on the flyway between central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean and Middle East and Africa (birds)
- Critically endangered fauna species Mediterranean monk seal
- Dunes Sacalin Island is composed of alluvial deposits and sand dunes stabilised by tamarix. (UNEP-WCMC)
- Lagoons Includes, inter alia, the Razelm-Sinoie lagoon Complex which "comprises several large backinsh lagoons separated from the sea by a sandbar" (AB eval)
- Oxbow lakes See the map in the AB eval - Lake Belciug (No 18). And elsewhere in this paper .. "The right side includes oxbows with permanent vegetation, surrounded by the Sulina arm except during periods of high floods"
- Seals monk seal
- Polders Signifcant parts of the inscribed area (and even more of the uninscribed areas!) have been "poldered" (ref AB eval and map)
- Holocene "The modern Danube Delta began forming after 4,000 BC in a gulf of the Black Sea, when the sea rose to its present level. A sandy barrier blocked the Danube gulf where the river initially built its delta. Upon filling the gulf with sediments, the delta advanced outside the barrier-blocked estuary after 3,500 BC building several successive lobes." (Wiki)
- First inscriptions Romania 1991