The Danube Delta falls within the Pannonian steppe ecosystem of eastern Europe, with Mediterranean influences. As a young region in full process of consolidation, the Danube Delta represents a very favorable place for the development of highly diverse flora and fauna, unique in Europe, with numerous rare species. It hosts 23 natural ecosystems, but due to the extent of wetlands an aquatic environment is prevalent; a terrestrial environment is also present on the higher grounds of the continental levees. At the contact between freshwater and sea water, some special physical, chemical and biological processes take place, which have led biologists to consider this area as a very different ecosystem.
Situated on major migratory routes, and providing adequate conditions for nesting and hatching, the Danube Delta is a magnet for birds from six major ecoregions of the world, including the Mongolian, Arctic and Siberian. There are over 320 species of birds found in the delta during summer, of which 166 are hatching species and 159 are migratory. Over one million individual birds (swans, wild ducks, coots, etc.) winter here.
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