Rewilding Danube Delta
Part of the £9m Rewilding Europe grant
Romania, Ukraine and Moldova
Where the mighty Danube River meets the Black Sea, it has created a massive delta land, Europe’s largest wetland area. It is still surprisingly wild and relatively undestroyed.
The 580,000-hectare delta is home to significant amounts of waterbirds of all kinds, most notably pelicans of two species, herons, storks, cormorants and terns. It is a favourite staging area for passage migrants and wintering grounds for masses of migrating waterbirds from the steppes, the boreal forests and the tundras further north.
Here also lie some of Europe’s very few remaining grazed mosaic forest landscapes, the beautiful woodlands of Letea and Caraorman. Beavers are slowly making their return into the area, the area holds healthy populations of golden jackals while white-tailed eagles show a remarkable comeback.
The huge productivity of the many water habitats here has led to the delta harbouring the largest number of fish species anywhere in Europe. Flagship species are the four species of sturgeon, which once wandered the entire length of the Danube River all the way up into Germany. The area has unprecedented potential for wetland restoration and rewilding, in particular, the former polders and lakes can be re-flooded and reconnected with the Danube river dynamics.
The ERF grant will be used to assist Rewilding Europe in scaling up rewilding in this part of Europe.