Biodiversity conservation in the wetland Vlãdeni

Cristian Cojocariu

Project VLADENI 2000 “Biodiversity Conservation in the Wetland Vladeni” is an initiative of Romanian students from the Faculty of Biology, "Al. I. Cuza" University of Iasi. The team aims to continue the study undertaken between 1995 - 1998 by Romanian Ornithological Society (R.O.S.) of the ponding existing around the Vladeni area. This previous study aimed to complete a full biological documentation for a Ramsar assessment and to date has revealed the importance of the ponds for breeding and migrating water birds. This project will complement the previous study by investigating the status, distribution and habitat requirements of several globally threatened species of birds including: pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus), ferruginous duck (Aythia nyroca), red-breasted goose (Branta ruficollis), spotted eagle (Aquila clanga), imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), pallid harrier (Circus macrourus), white-tailed eagle (Haliacetus albicilla). Close collaboration with local population and authorities will help to raise public awareness and formulate an efficient conservation programme. Introduction: the Vlãdeni area belongs to Jijia and Miletin's ponds. Here they were fitted out in the '70s at the junction of River Jijia with its tributary Miletin, and are located 45 km north-west from Iasi. Jijia, the most important tributary of the River Prut, has a course length of about 282.6 km, basin surface of about 5722 km 2. Miletin ponds are located between villages Halceni and Vladeni, while Jijia's are located between villages Vladeni and Larga Jijia. The aquatic surface is about 1535 ha but the whole wetland surface (canals, swamps and humid grasslands inclusively) is about 1900 ha. Near Borsa swamp (among Jijia's ponds) a forest (Coasta Borsei 58 ha) is located. Another forest (Catichi 92 ha) exists from Miletin's ponds to south-west. Relevance: Ponds are used for fish rearing while the lake Halceni dam is a very important water resource in the region (for ponds and agriculture). Reedbeds cover more than 450 ha of Jijia's ponds. These ponds are a very valuable nesting place for waterbirds. In the recent past, 4 new species for Moldova region fauna were recorded. Capitalization of results: 1. Data acquired will be brought together into a large computational database at NGOs, residents, students, scientists, local authorities free disposal; 2. The study could be further developed as a starting point for a more complex research project, viewing a monograph of the region; 3. A leaflet will be issued in order to sustain governmental bodies efforts for an thought and attitude regarding wetlands and sustainable development; 4. Results will be further used as a scientific background for an official request for a Ramsar site statement of statement of the area.