Introduction

The Danube Delta

The waters of the Danube, which flow into the Black Sea, form the largest and best preserved of Europe’s deltas. The Danube delta hosts over 300 species of birds as well as 45 freshwater fish species in its numerous lakes and marshes. The Danube Delta and associated lagoons is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering over 5,165 square kilometers.

Seasonal activity:

  • April sees the beginning of the spring migration of birds to the Danube Delta. These “summer visitors” will stay through to the end of September, and include pelicans, herons, summer swans, etc.
  • The nesting season for the summer birds is during May and June.
  • November sees the start of the winter migration of birds, which include the red-breasted geese, winter swans, etc.
  • Sport fishing is allowed throughout the year, except for 60 days in April and May.
  • Orthodox Easter is usually in April, but can sometimes be at the end of March or the beginning of May.

Key information about the Danube Delta (UNESCO, UNEP data):

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site, located largely in Romania and partly in Ukraine
  • 312 recorded bird species, of which 184 are protected by the Bern Convention. 176 species breed on the site. Exceptionally varied and critical habitat for migratory and nesting birds
  • 75 recorded species of fish, including 45 freshwater fish species. Several species of sturgeon
  • 900 vertebrate and 2,500 invertebrate animal species have been recorded in the delta area
  • Thousands of tones of alluvial sediments are carried into the delta by the Danube every year, resulting in a constant reshaping of the river banks and sandbars
  • Reed-covered wetlands form the largest natural water purification system in Europe, being constantly refreshed and fertilized by floodwaters and filtering the river’s silt, nutrients and pollutants before they reach the Black Sea