IRON GATES NATURAL PARK
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.
Climatic conditions, in combination with the geographical position and geological diversity, allow us to know 39 types of habitats of Community interest on the territory of the Iron Gates Natural Park, of which seven habitats are designated primary for conservation.
We can group these habitat types into the following categories:
Freshwater habitats or inland waters habitats – on the territory of the Park there are six such habitats, with a good conservation status, which, through conservation actions, tends to become very good. These kinds of habitats are particularly important for the species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, water birds or dependent in one of the ontogenetical phases on water, such as: Umbra krameri – European Mudminnow, Aspius aspius – Eurasian Cyprinid Fish, Barbus meridionalis – Mediterranean Barbel, etc., Bombina bombina – European Fire-bellied Toad, Bombina variegata – Yellow-bellied Toad, Emys orbicularis – European Pond Turtle, Egretta alba-Great White Egret, Egretta garzetta-Little Egret, Gavia arctica-Black-throated Loon, Gavia stellata etc. At the same time, these types of habitats are built of plant species important in both conservation terms and sanogenetic and economic terms.
Scrub and meadow habitats – 11 such habitat types characterize the territory of the Iron Gates Natural Park, many of which are made up of endemic vegetal associations or built by endemic plant species. Species such as Tulipa hungarica – Banat Tulip, Colchium arenarium – Sand Saffron, Echium russicum – Red-flowered Viper’s Bugloss, Stipa danubialis – Feather Grass, Thlaspi jankae – Penny-Cress, are some of the species of Community interest that edify or characterize these types of habitats. In addition, these habitats are particularly important because they provide support for numerous animal species, from invertebrates to large mammals, both in the food chain, and for reproduction and breeding.
Among these, we should mentionTestudo hermanni boettgeri – Hermann’s Tortoise, Coronella caspius – Smooth Snake, raptor species such asAquila clanga – Lesser Spotted Eagle, Falco vespertinus – Red-footed Falcon, Falco tinnunculus – Common Kestrel, etc., mammals such as Spermophilus citellus – European Ground Squirrel, Myotis spp.
Cliffs and caves habitats – 7 types of habitats in this category can be found in the territory of the Park, perhaps the most beautiful colored in a season of vegetation due to the presence of sumac – Cotynus coggygria, Cauldrons campanulas – Campanula crassipes and common lilac – Syringa vulgaris. These types of habitat are also important for different animal species of Community interest, such as Vipera ammodytes – Long-nosed Viper, Podarcis muralis – Common Wall Lizard, Aquila chrysaetos-Golden Eagle, Bubo bubo-Owl, Hieraaetus pennatus-Booted Eagle, etc. Limestone relief present in this area provides trophic and reproductive/breeding conditions for numerous species of bats, which are protected internationally.
Forest habitats – the most well represented both as number (large diversity) and as a percentage of land area, 70% of the area of the Park is covered with forests. With a number of 15 habitats, the importance of conservation is no doubt extremely high. Providing support for the greatest variety of species (with the exception of the ecotone areas), forests are probably the number one priority of all humankind. Species diversity is particularly high, from invertebrates to big vertebrates.
In order to achieve the goals of Nature 2000 ecological network, certain management measures should be considered, as follows:
a) Mapping, maintaining or restoring where necessary the favorable conservation status of habitats, followed by their monitoring;
b) Prohibition/restriction of illegal logging in the forest habitats of priority;
c) Prohibition/restriction of construction of forest roads in forest habitats of priority;
d) Promotion of natural regeneration of forest habitats;
e) Prohibition/restriction of chemical treatments in forest habitats;
f) Prohibition/restriction of intervention on wet habitats: draining;
g) Regulating grazing, by maintaining the numbers and species according to the reliability of each pasture, and hay-making in optimal periods for this activity, with priority to maintain the favorable habitat condition;
h) Regulating the traditional activities of renewable resources use, within the limits of the productive capacity and support capacity of the ecosystems, with low-impact technologies, such as the harvesting of wild berries, mushrooms and medicinal plants;
i) Extracting invasive species from habitats of priority;
j) Prohibition/restriction on the use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and other amendments to the grassland habitats;
k) Prohibition to burn the vegetation;
l) Awareness of communities on the need to protect and conserve habitats.
DJERDAP NATIONAL PARK
About fifty forest and herbaceous associations have been found in the area of Djerdap – 35 of these are characterized as relict. Exceptionally valuable for science and education are numerous relict forest associations, especially the endemic forest associations of Djerdap of polydominant type, such as: Querco-colurnetum mixtum, Fago-colurnetum mixtum, Celto-Juglandetum, Syringo-colurnetum mixtum etc.
From a scientific standpoint, the most noteworthy communities of relict and mixed character in the gorge are as follows: Forests of beech, Turkish hazel, walnut and other species; Forests of oak, ash, Turkish hazel, lilac and other species; Forests of lilac, Turkish hazel and other species; Forests of European nettle tree, walnut and other species with lilac; Forests of maple, lime and other species with walnut; Forests of beech with walnut and other species; Forests of oak and oriental hornbeam, with lilac and other species.