About the Danube Delta, Ukraine

46,000 hectares declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

Over millennia the Danube River has formed Europe's largest floodplain and delta, a diverse landscape of alluvial islands, marshes, reed beds, canals and lakes. It also holds the distinction of being among Europe’s largest wetlands.
About 20% of the Delta, an area of approximately 125,000 hectares, occurs in Ukraine. Of this, 75,000 hectares comprises land while the remaining 50,000 is water.

Scenic gallery forest along the riverbanks forms a contrast with the lakes and reedbeds that dominate the delta.

Many sections of the natural landscape in the Danube delta retain much of the area’s original splendour. Three of the lakes in this section, Kartal, Kugurlui and Sasyk have been declared Ramsar sites.

In August 1998, more than 46,000 hectares of the Danube Delta was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve to include the word’s most extensive reed beds (250,000 hectares) where the river merges with the Black Sea.

The Delta is a dynamic system which provides many essential ecological functions, namely

  • the natural fertilisation of the floodplain by floods;
  • the refreshment of water in the limans by rising and falling water levels;
  • creation of natural biotopes for plants and animals, including refuges for relict and endemic species
  • filtering of silt, nutrients and pollutants in the Danube waters

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