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WETLANDS : ROMANIA LISTS ITS FIFTH RAMSAR SITE.

The Romanian Ministry of the Environment and Water Management has registered its fifth Ramsar site, Lake Techirghiol (1,462 hectares), to the list of protected wetlands covered by the Ramsar Convention, with effect from 23 March 2006.

Located near the Black Sea coast, this lake is split into three parts by two dams built in the 1980s: the eastern part with largely salt water from the sea, the part locked between the two dams, where the water has become rather brackish, and the western part, where the water is very soft and clear. These very diverse natural conditions have enable the survival of local species of plants like Suaeda maritima (seablite) and Puccinellia distans (sweet grass), of various animal species, such as the Danube crested newt Triturus dobrogicus and theaEuropean fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina, as well as several threatened species of bat, like Miniopterus schreibersi. Wetlands and coastal habitats provide ideal conditions for a wide range of wild species.

This new Ramsar site is a very important resting place for migrating waterbirds, especially geese and ducks, and its reed-beds offer an ideal nesting ground for several bird species.

Also, the lake's sea saltwater favoursareproduction of the Artemia salina, a small crustacean which encourages sapropele depositions, rich in organic matter used for therapeutic purposes. Disruptions caused by tourist traffic and local vehicles around the lake are considered as potential threats, as is a landfill site near the village of Techirghiol. A management plan is expected to be finalised during the course of the year.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:May 24, 2006
Words:253
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