The Green Heart of Europe

Rural landscape with morning mist near Zarnesti, Transylvania, Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania.
© Wild Wonders of Europe / Cornelia Doerr / WWF

The continent's greatest natural treasures

The five most important features of The Green Heart of Europe
From the Danube basin to the Carpathian Mountains, our region - the Green Heart of Europe - includes many of the continent’s greatest natural treasures.

• Wilderness
Europe’s most spectacular remaining wilderness areas outside of Russia, including the southern Carpathians and the Danube Delta.

• Forests
The largest remaining area of virgin and natural forests in Europe outside of northern Scandinavia and Russia, including the primeval beech forests of Ukraine and Slovakia.

• Rivers and wetlands
Most of Europe’s last remaining intact rivers and wetlands, including the globally important Lower Danube Green Corridor and the Mura-Drava-Danube corridor, “Europe’s Amazon”.

• Large carnivores
Two-thirds of the European populations of large carnivores, including bears, lynx and wolves.

• Danube sturgeon
The Beluga sturgeon - a 7-meter fish that survived the end of the dinosaurs but now teeters on the edge of extinction.

We depend on these treasures
They provide us with essential goods and services, from timber and fish to clean water and climate regulation, and the essential “green infrastructure” that secures our livelihoods and well-being.

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