Danube Delta rewilding area

  • Country:
    Romania
  • Start year:
    2011
  • Location:
    Danube Delta
  • Size (ha):
    180000
  • Area Type:
    Romania
  • Type of protection:
    Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO Heritage site, Ramsar site

The three main elements of the initiative, part of the bigger European plan, are the reintroduction of key species that disappeared from the area in the past, the influence of local communities regarding conservation and area management and increasing the revenues of the local communities.

Wild area hosting Cormorant colony

Area

  • Habitat types: River delta, reed beds, marshes, riverine forests, coastal grasslands, dune systems, coastal lagoons and forests
  • Keystone species present: Migration path, wintering and nesting area for many rare or endangered birds: red-breasted goose, Dalmatian pelican, pygmy cormorant, white pelican.
  • Fauna (mega) species present: European mink, Golden jackal, Otter, Wild boar, Wild cat.
  • Vegetation types present: Forest, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation

Scope

  • Description: This enterprise model will be based on economic development through sustainable use of natural resources and nature entrepreneurship and on local community engagement. And the two main directions for business will be tourism and use of renewable resources. <br /> <br /> Another aspect will be the reintroduction of key species that disappeared from the area in the (not so distant) past. This line of action will take into account the history of these species and the supportive capacity of the ecosystems.
  • Aim: An integrated thinking of ethical and practical long-term approach should unite three main elements. Rewilding as a mean for healthier ecosystems, managed by the local communities, valuing natural capital through embedding sustainability in the businesses and best use of ecosystem services.
  • Vision: A number of large core rewilding areas that have no-hunting regimes, are connected through wildlife and wilderness corridors and surrounded by zones for different kinds and levels of sustainable use.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: The rewilding process has also provided examples of new or additional ways to make a living, based on these wild resources. In combination with products trading from the surrounding areas where people still use the landscape in traditional, sustainable ways, being a vital part of their income.
  • Uniqueness: The Danube Delta, the largest river delta wetland in Europe, has become one of the finest, wildest, best-protected and most famous wildlife areas of the whole continent. The area provides new sources of income and pride for the people who live here and for Romania as a country.
  • Results so far: Feasibility studies for the restocking of the beaver and the reintroduction of red deer have been finalised, and discussions have started with stakeholders and authorities in order to get permission to start the comeback of the species.<br /> Local partners for the Tauros programme have been identified in Sfantu Gheorghe area, where the collaboration will bring thousands of hectares of rewilding area with natural grazing.<br /> Local enterpreneurs who are willing to associate in a small scale tourism association have been identified, guiding them on the development of a 3-day tour bird watching product for Sfantu Gheorghe.
  • Flagship species: Beaver
  • Other characteristics: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products

Exchange

  • Inspirational value: Our team is very fortunate to work in an unique place where the Danube meets the Black Sea and where nature is so rich, so dynamic and ever changing. Through our work we are both learning from the people and showing them how to make the most of the richness and to be part of this dynamic in a way that is sustainable and opens new possibilities away from some of the old damaging habits.
  • Experience you would like to share: The challenges of implementing the initiative in a wetland Biosphere reserve, strategies of working with the stakeholders and experiences from the field, both ecological and socio-economical.
  • Experience you would like to gain: Learn from other teams how they encouraged and established participatory management in the local communities and other skills concerning species management.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.