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Biogeography

Volume XV |

Faunistic Study of the Tsibar Danube Island

Abstract: Tsibar Island is situated on the Bulgarian part of the Danube River, at 680 m of the Bulgarian and about 100 of the Romanian coast from 716 to 719 km along the river, with an area of 1.3 km2. The territory is covered mainly by riparian woodland. Because of its European importance to the protection of rare and threatened habitats, plants and animals, including birds, the island falls within the borders of proposed Natura 2000 sites under both the Birds and the Habitats Directives.
Part of the island is placed under strict protection as a menaged reserve “Ibisha”. In 1997 the territory was designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. In 2002 the reserve has been declared as a Ramsar site according to the international convention for the conservation of wetlands. Tsibar Island is of international importance defined by one of the largest mixed colony of herons and cormorants in Bulgaria. It is a site of global importance for the nesting Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and one of the most important sites in Bulgaria for the nesting of the Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) and Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). There have been identified more than 100 animal species: 42 terrestrial and 16 aquatic invertebrates, 5 fish species, 1 amphibian and 1 reptile species, 30 birds (including 22 breeding), 16 mammalian species (including 8 species of bats). Ascertained are the Medicinal leech (Hirudo verbana), which is a rare species at the European level, endangered Thick-shelled river mussel (Unio crassus), protected fish Asp (Leuciscus aspius) and Great raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius), included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria in the category “extinct”. A management plan for Ibisha Menaged Reserve was developed in 2015.

Volume XV |

Floristic composition and functional zones pattern of the beach-dune system along the Danube Delta coast – Romania

Abstract: This paper presents the floristic composition of vegetation for each feature on a beach-dune system sector from the western Black Sea coast, Romania. The studied site is a relatively small fragment of the 10 km shore on the southern part of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (DDBR) that may be susceptible to anthropogenic pressure in the coming years. Out of the 38 identified species, ten are threatened species according to the national Red List of endangered plant species. Compositae and Poaceae are the families with the highest number of species. The analysis of floristic spectrum shows a mixture of elements of plant communities, but Pontic and Ponto-Caspian elements are prevalent.
Physiognomically, the foredunes in the Danube delta coast have a typical morphology, with a smooth profile and do not exceed 2 m high. They are vegetated by herbaceous annual and perennial plants, but in terms of abundance the native dune builder rhizomatous grasses are rare.
The fore dunes from this Black Sea coast sector serve as vital habitat and refuge for Convolvulus persicus L. within the western limit of its geographical range. This endemic Ponto-Caspian element defines a particular habitat type within the Black Sea biogeographic region: “Pontic shore dunes with Convolvulus persicus L.” Currently, the main threats of this habitat are cattle grazing and the increasing touristic activities (human trampling, horse riding and all-terrain vehicle riding).

Volume XIII |

Conservation Status and Conservation Strategies of threatened aquatic fern Marsilea quadrifolia L. in Europe

Abstract: The aquatic fern Marsilea quadrifolia L is a rare and threatened species in entire Europe due to wetland habitats destruction and changing agricultural practices. To protect it, in situ and ex situ conservation methods are approached in European Union an in other countries. The in vivo and in vitro collections that were developed in botanical gardens in the last two decades are used for reintroduction and for restoration of M. quadrifolia populations in natural sites as well as in agro ecosystems that are analogous to natural habitats. Natural establishment of several M. quadrifolia populations in its natural range is an evidence that it can colonize new suitable habitats, including anthropogenic habitats. Despite conservation strategies approached within the European Union, its area of occupancy has decreased, thereby this species has become vulnerable at European Union level. The main threats are the small size populations, low genetic diversity and genetic erosion of populations, habitat degradation and chemical pollutions of waters by herbicides and fertilizers used in modern agricultural practice.

Volume XIII |

The role of Şarlota Park (Timiş County) in the colonisation of a new mammalian species – Fallow Deer (Dama dama L., 1758) in Romania

Abstract: Şarlota Park, located in Lipova Plateau, was founded between 1902 and 1904 at a distance of 42 km from the town of Timişoara. The aim was to create a hunting park, populated mainly with Fallow Deer. The first specimens, originating from the Habsburg Empire, were brought in animal trucks, colonised in the years 1904-1907, Şarlota railway station dating from 1896. As the species population grew to over 600 individuals, in the early 1950s specialists decided to have a number of specimens captured annually and colonise them in all of Romania`s provinces that offered similar environmental conditions. The animals were carried to the new sites in animal trucks and lorries. The captures (about 1,000 individuals) were made over 1942-1977, mostly between 1954 and 1970. The 73 transports resulted in the formation of 49 new populations of this species in Romania. It was the most outstanding action taken by the Romanian authorities to expand the area of a mammalian species.

Volume XII |

Hierarchical analysis of the threats for Species of Community Interest in the Iron Gates Natural Park, Romania

Abstract: Threats to biodiversity are diverse and the management of these threats is a major research direction in the conservation of biological diversity. Determining the status of a species is essential in identifying those in danger of becoming extinct and also to establish conservation priorities. For the management of all types of threats that manifest themselves for certain species of community interest in the Iron Gates Natural Park, we must first understand their causes and effects. Conservationists are increasingly interested in determining threats to biological communities, this being an important part of territorial and environmental planning strategies. The analysis undertaken for some geographical areas showed that the most important threats are the socio-economic and demographic variables, the fragmentation, destruction and degradation of habitats through various practices, the introduction of non-native species, illegal hunting or overfishing. In this context, for elaborating sustainable patterns of habitat management we must analyze and prioritize the threats that we are dealing with. The method requires an inventory of the main threats in the Iron Gates Natural Park, the threats for certain Species of Community Interest (Tulipa hungarica, Colchicum arenarium, Pulsatilla grandis). We have also applied a method used by WWF in order to achieve a hierarchy of the main threats and to establish logical and efficient actions that can be locally applicable.