Project results

The implementation of LIFE10 NAT/RO/00740 Improving the conservation status for the priority species and habitats in the Iron Gates wetlands project has generated the following results:

  • Creating favourable wintering habitats for ~700 pairs of pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and nesting conditions for ~800 pairs of Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca). For the pygmy cormorant, it represents a 15% population increase compared with the maximum population number of the last three years, and for the ferruginous duck a 10% increase.
  • Creating drying platforms for 800 pygmy cormorants. The surrogate habitat was provided by 100 resting platforms deployed in shallow waters along the Danube and 200 pygmy cormorant decoys for stimulating the use of artificial platforms.
  • Including Aythya nyroca in Standard Data Form of ROSPA00026.
  • Eradication of invasive trees (Ailanthus altissima and Amorpha fruticosa) on the same 55 ha from Iron Gates wetlands.
  • Reforestation of 51 ha with Salix alba, as resting and breeding habitats for pygmy cormorant.
  • Creating a framework for eradication of invasive American mink and other invasive vertebrates.
  • Legally binding a long term action plan for stopping the loss of biodiversity within the Iron Gates wetlands.
  • Creating an up-to-date GIS database in compliance with the INSPIRE Directive that provides support to environmental policies and potential activities that impact on the environment in the areas that can be replicated in other Natura 2000 sites.
  • Purchasing and operating a floating equipment for cutting the excessive macrophytes from the wetlands, especially invasive macrophytes (e.g., Azolla filiculoides, Nymphoides peltata).
  • Creating a demonstrative functional early detection system for aquatic invasions in the ROSPA00026.
  • Increasing public awareness on the birds and wetlands importance.

Project main results can be classified in several categories as such:

  1. Ecological restoration of wetlands;
  2. Invasive species management;
  3. GIS application;
  4. Action plan for wetlands conservation;
  5. Raising awareness of local communities and results dissemination.