White pelicans, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Danube delta rewilding area, Romania

Conservation setting

The Danube Delta on the border between Romania and Ukraine is outstanding in Europe due to it’s size (over 600,000 ha), intact river dynamics, unexploited coastline (shaped by the Danube River and the Black Sea), wide horizons and large-scale landscapes without significant infrastructure. It also has the largest reed beds in the world, in addition to millions of nesting and migrating birds, some of them rare or even globally endangered. The unique Letea Forest, situated in the Romanian section, is the only “primeval” forest of the country with trees up to 700 years old. Through the designation as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves by both the Romanian and Ukrainian governments, with strictly protected core areas, the delta enjoys a relatively high level of protection. Buffer and economic zones around these also provide opportunities for local developments without jeopardizing the natural values.