IRON GATES NATURAL PARK
Iron Gates Natural Park is an area with great landscape diversity given by both the varied and contrasting landscape, karst, volcanic and structurally (pinnacle points) and the exokarst phenomena (Danube Cauldrons).
Very high biological diversity, given both by specific flora and vegetation, rich in sub-Mediterranean elements, thermophilic species mixed with the Central-European ones, and the presence of a large number of animal species characteristic for low plain, steppe, thrush, lacustrine, aquatic, with elements characteristic for the hilly, karst or even mountain areas.
The research undertaken to date shows that the fauna of the Iron Gates Natural Park consists of 5205 taxa, of which 4873 invertebrates and 332 vertebrates.
Among vertebrates, the Aves class records a high presence with 205 representatives, followed by the Pisces class, with 63 class representatives, the most poorly represented class being Amfibia, with just 12 taxa.
The characteristic of the Iron Gates Natural Park fauna is the mixture of mountain boreal elements with the southern Mediterranean and southeastern Illyrian, Balkan, Moesiac, and the relict nature of the North and South elements, which survived in enclaves, according to R. Calinescu, S. Iana, 1964.
The species of birds are maybe best represented in the Park, due to its geographical location. The area provides conditions for passage, food and nesting for a huge number of birds protected at European and global level. Among them, we should note: Aquila chrysaetos-Golden Eagle, Aquila pomarina-Lesser Spotted Eagle, Accipiter brevipes-Levant Sparrowhawk, Bonasa bonasia-Hazel Grouse, Bubo bubo-Owl, Ciconia ciconia-White Stork, Circaetus gallicus – Short-Toed Snake Eagle, Caprimulgus europaeus-Nightjar, Coracias garrulus-European Roller, Dendrocopos leucotos-White-backed Woodpecker, Dendrocopos medius-Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Dryocopus martius-Black Woodpecker, Falco peregrinus-Peregrine Falcon, Hieraaetus pennatus-Booted Eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla-White-tailed Eagle, Lullula arborea-Wood Lark, Lanius collurio-Red-backed Shrike, Pernis apivorus-European Honey Buzzard, Strix uralensis-Ural Owl, Picus canus-Grey-headed Woodpecker, Emberiza hortulana-Ortolan Bunting; Milvus migrans-Black Kite, Pandion haliaetus-Osprey, Buteo rufinus-Long-legged Buzzard, Ciconia nigra-Black Stork, Circus cyaneus-Hen Harrier, Cygnus cygnus-Whooper Swan, Egretta alba-Great White Egret, Egretta garzetta-Little Egret, Gavia arctica-Black-throated Loon, Gavia stellata-Red-throated Loon, Mergus albellus-Smew, Phalacrocorax pygmeus-Pygmy Cormorant.
All reptiles seen in the area of the Park are protected by various regulatory documents and account for a total of 14 species: Testudo hermanni – Hermann’s Tortoise, Emys orbicularis – European Pond Turtle, Lacerta agilis – Sand Lizard, Lacerta vivipara – Viviparous Lizard, Lacerta viridis – European Green Lizard, Podarcis muralis – Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis taurica – Balkan Wall Lizard, Ablepharus kitaibelli – European Copper Skink, Coluber caspius – Caspian Whipsnak, Coronella austriaca – Smooth Snake, Elaphe longissima – Aesculapian Snake, Elaphe quatorlineata – Four-lined Snake, Natrix tessellata – Dice Snake, Vipera ammodytes – Long-nosed Viper.
The species of amphibians protected are also very well represented in the Park; one can meet 8 species of Community interest: Bombina bombina – European Fire-bellied Toad, Bombina variegata – Yellow-bellied Toad, Hyla arborea – European Tree Frog, Rana dalmatina – Agile Frog, Rana arvalis – Moor Frog, Pelobates fuscus – Common Spadefoot Toad and Bufo viridis – European Green Toad.
Danube Gorge area, with its remarkable landscapes, emerging from the tireless flow of the great river among the slopes of the Romanian and Serbian Carpathians (because, contrary to expectations, the Danube does not separate the Carpathians from the Balkans, but the Carpathian Mountains continue to the South of the Danube in the Timok Valley), has always fascinated and sparked the interest of both local populations and the military major powers which Europe has known over the years for the strategic and economic advantages it offered.
Iron Gates Natural Park has a very rich biological diversity, which still makes the delight of researchers, bringing in the past immense personal satisfaction to the people who have stopped their attention on this place that seems blessed.
34 species belonging to the Mammalia class, which populate the various habitats of the Park were determined in the Iron Gates Natural Park. A significant proportion of mammals is given by the Microchiroptera, represented by the members of two families: Vespertilionidae – Myotis bechsteini, Myotis capacinii, Vespertilio murinus and Rhinolophidae – Rhinolophus eurialis, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rhinolophus blasii.
Elements of Mediterranean origin, bats populate the caves of the Park area, such as Veterani Cave, Ponicova Cave, Gaura cu Musca Cave and the Cave Without a Name. All species of bats in the Park area have a strictly protected species status and they are included in the Annex II to the Berne Convention on the conservation of wild life and natural habitats in Europe, in the Annexes III and IV of the Government Emergency Ordinance No. 57/2007, with its subsequent amendments and additions; they are also included in the National Red List.
Carnivores are present through both large species, such as the bear – Ursus arctos, the wolf – Canis lupus, the fox- Vulpes vulpes, the lynx – Lynx lynx, and small species, such as the mustelids – Putorius putorius, Meles meles, Martes martes. They inhabit the mountainous forested areas of the Park.
Accidental conflicts have been reported between large carnivores and the local population in places far away from permanent settlements. The fauna of the Park also includes herbivores, represented byCervus elaphus - Red Deer, Capreolus capreolus - European Roe Deer, Sus scrofa - Wild Boar. With regard to the status of mammals, they are included in the Annexes of the various international conventions or national regulations.
DJERDAP NATIONAL PARK
The fauna of this area is also rich and various. So far 170 bird species have been noted, (Phalacrocorax, Fulica atra, Egretta garzetta, Ardea cinerea, Charadriidae, Anas platyrhynchos, Accipitriformes, Falconiformes, Aythya, Mergus albellus, etc.) but it is thought that at least 200 bird species visit this area throughout the year. Numerous species of mammals are also present, including: the wildcat (Felis silvestris), bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), jackal (Canis aureus), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), deer (Cervus elaphus), otter (Lutra lutra) and others. A great number of species of insects, amphibians and reptiles (Emys orbicularis, Sauria, Testudo hermanni) also inhabit the territory of Djerdap NP. Before the construction of the Djerdap dam, the fish population was composed of species common to the Danube River, as well as semi-migratory species such as eel and other migrant species (sturgeons, stellate sturgeon), etc.