Ecological restoration

100 drying platforms were installed along Danube in order to increase the pygmy cormorant presence in the ROSPA0026 Danube Water Course Baziaș – Iron Gates (left photo), mainly in: Gura Nerei, Calinovăț, Moldova Nouă (7 to 12 cormorants can use a single platform).

Moreover, 160 rubber decoys were installed on 80 of the 100 platforms, in order to stimulate their use by the cormorants.

In order to identify the areas the pygmy cormorants are using, the movements of 10 cormorants were traced and analysed using PTTArgos satellite tracking systems  (right photo).

4 more cormorants were released without installing the transmitters, being to small to carry the devices or releasing themselves before our teams reached the traps.

Only 7 PTT systems transmitted properly, 3 of them being destroyed or falling into water after releasing the birds carrying them. We have received 1099 location points through more than 7000 ARGOS messages. The longest transmission lasted 198 days, whilst the shortest one 6 days.

Moreover, live traps were installed for eliminating the American mink from the feeding and resting areas of the pygmy cormorants.

Riparian habitats 91E0* (Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior) and 92A0 (riparian forests of Salix alba and Populus alba) were extended in the areas: Gurile Nerei, Calinovăț, Moldova Nouă, Divici-Pojejena, Liborajdea. Following the removal of invasice alien species from these areas, white willow was planted on a 51 hectares surface (photo left). More details on the restoration of the two habitats by planting Salix alba are available in the presentation below.