The Balta Mica A Brailei Natural Park

see site Balta Mica a Brailei, a quagmire of international interest (RAMSAR site), is the last natural vestige existing on the inferior course of the Danube, after the draining of the Interior Delta (Balta Brailei and Balta Ialomitei) where at present complex aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are preserved in a state close to the original one.Balta Mica a Brailei Natural Park with an area of 24,555 ha, including the arms of the Danube and the dam-bank areas, is situated in the flood plain of the Danube, between the plain of Braila and Insula Mare a Brailei.The only way to get to the Natural Park is to cross the arms of the Danube by small boats or by ferries that leave from the towns around Balta Mica a Brailei.There are two ways to access Balta Mica: Braila in the north and the European highway E60 at both ends of the bridge Giurgeni-Vadu Oii.One can get to the neighbouring places by taking either village roads or state roads with Braila as the main departure place. FaunaThe diversity of the fauna reflects the diversity of the habitats, especially because of the fact that more than half of the ecosystems are natural. 623 different species have been identified, out of which 99 are on the list of the European Directives. The invertebrates' fauna is also very rich, with 329 species having already been identified, out of which more than 100 are species of gastropods and bivalvous, 12 taxa of bentonic organisms, with more than 60 species identified. Over 120 are species of cladocera, copepods and rotifers. Additionally there are also many species of aquatic insects. Birds fauna. Birds are represented by 207 species that come here to nestle, to have a halting place during migration or to spend the winter. Among these we can mention some internationally threatened species, such as: Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis) and Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus). Of all bird species identified here, 79 are present on the special list for conservation (Annex I) of the European Union Directive for birds. Terrestrial fauna. 11 mammal species, grouped in four orders and seven families, have been identified here. They are protected both by the national legislation (OUG 57/2007) and by the Flora Habitat Directive of the European Union (92/43CCE). Aquatic fauna. Fish populations are represented by omit 65 species (10 on the list of the European Directives) out of which the best known are: wells catfish (Silurus glanis), pike (Esox lucius), pike perch (Stizostedion lucioperca), Black Sea shad (Alosa pontica), common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Amphibians and reptiles are represented by 13 species, 8 of them being on the list of the European Directives. Translated by Dorina Palade

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