Danube Watercourse Bazias-Iron Gates
SPA Danube Water Course Bazias – Iron Gates overlaps to several categories of protection at national (i.e. Natural Park and natural reserves) and European level (i.e. SCI). The protected area is administrated by the Iron Gates Natural Park Administration.
The main wetlands from the area are:
Balta Nera Dunare (Nera river mouth)
The vegetation from the Nera river mouths is hygrophyte and hygrophilous and developed mainly following the creation of the Iron Gates I Dam. It expands along the Danube up to the floodplain of Radimna and Susca villages. From the tree species present in the area we mention: Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Populus alba, Alnus glutinosa, Fraxinus angustifolia, Cerasus avium, and for the shrubs: Ligustrum vulgare, Rosa canina, Amorpha fructicosa, Cornus sanguinea. The lianas were: Vitis sylvestris and Humulus lupus. In the riparian area, there is a belt of floating macrophyte, consisting of species like sedges, bulrush, reed and mace. In the central parts of the water bodies therea are floating species: broad-leaf pondweed, duckweed, and submerse species: Elodea canadensis, rigid hornwort, soft hornwort etc. Plankton is richly and diverse during the year. The plant species that are part of the plankton belong to the green, blue and silica algae. The rare herbaceous plants are: Ornithogalum umbellatum, Cerastium semidecandrum. The avian fauna of the region is mainly represented by aquatic birds (e.g. waterfowls). During the passage periods, the region is transited by many populations of Waders and Anseriformes (Anas querquedula, Aythya nyroca, Aythya fuligula) and also some of the species that reproduce here. In the soft winters, if the Danube River water does not freeze, large groups of Cygnus olor, Anser brachyrhynchus, Phalacrocorax pygmeus. remain here searching for food.
It is located at the 1068th km of Danube, upstream of the locality Divici. Its actual surface is of 2.12 ha (compared to 6.75 before the Iron Gates dam was built). An inner lake exists in its central part, communicating in its eastern side with the Danube. Lush vegetation is present, and the willow-trees forests create a dense corridor. The inner lake is mostly covered by aquatic vegetation. For high levels of water, the island is partially flooded. The main types of habitats are the Danube with muddy banks and Hydrocharition vegetation, stationary, mesotrophic or slow-flow water, willow-trees forests etc. A number of 21 bird species have been identified here.
Divici Pojejena wetland
The types of habitats identified in the area are freshwater ones and herbaceous formations and natural shrubs. From the freshwater habitats, a narrow strip of the Danube River up to 1.5 m deep was identified, with muddy banks and Hydrocharition vegetation, stagnant water from some mesotrophic ponds or with a very slow flow, natural reed-rich eutrophic ponds. For the shrubs and herbaceous formations, lowlands with herbaceous vegetation and very shallow water level (close to the soil surface) were identified and also scrubby willows and herbaceous vegetation, etc. The natural habitats which are characteristic for the area offer resting and feeding conditions for a large number of wildlife species, especially birds. It is one of the few Danube wetlands from Caras-Severin and Mehedinti counties where a significant number of bird species cohabitate on a relatively low area. These exceed (as number and size of the populations) those identified and inventoried in the Moldova Veche wetland.
The bird species frequently observed in the area are mainly Ciconiiformes and Anseriformes, but also different raptor species. From the aquatic species, to be noticed are: Gavia arctica, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Podiceps nigricollis, Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Egretta alba, Egretta garzetta, Ardea cinerea, Ciconia nigra, Nyctycorax nyctycorax, Cygnus olor, Cygnus cygnus, Aythya nyroca and Aythya ferina, whilst from the diurnal raptors appear Buteo buteo, Falco subbuteo, Pernis apivorus, Pandion haliaetus.
Moldova Veche Island
Located on the Danube, in line with the city of Moldova Noua, has a 345.8 ha surface today (compared to 524.7 ha, the initial surface). The reservoir determined changes in the initial ecosystems and the appearance of the wetlands ecological systems, represented by flood prone lowlands and swamps. The main habitats are represented by freshwater habitats, pasturage and shrubs. The aquatic habitats are represented by the settling ponds for the sterile and process waste-water from the ferrous ores from Moldova Noua and the Danube water with muddy banks and characteristic submerse vegetation. For the time being, the ponds are not used for sterile depositing, their inner part being covered by stagnant mesotrophic water with aquatic vegetation. The terrestrial habitats on the Moldova Veche Island are represented by grasslands with shrubs, mainly sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides). Several Passeriformes appear in these habitats, such as Turdus merula, Acrocephalus sp., Lanius collurio, Emberiza citrinella, Emberiza schoeniclus etc. The settling ponds dykes offer nesting opportunities for Oenanthe oenanthe, Galerida cristata and Alauda arvensis.
These habitats are hosting about 72 bird species, belonging to 30 families from 14 orders. From the aquatic species, well represented from the species number point of view are Anatidae (11 species), Ardeidae (6 species) families, and also Podicipedidae and Rallidae (3 species each). From the Passeriformes, better represented are the families Corvidae (4 species), Sylvidae (3 species), Turdidae (3 species) and Fringillidae (3 species).