Djerdap : a new wetland of international importance in Serbia

Serbia has designated its eleventh and largest Wetland of International Importance. Djerdap (Đerdap in Serbian; “Ramsar Site” no. 2442) covers over 66,000 hectares within the National Park of the same name along the right bank of the River Danube, where it passes through the “Iron Gates” gorge separating the southern Carpathian mountains from the north-western Balkans.


Đerdap, Serbie. Photo: © Željko Jevtić / Wikimedia Commons


The area is noted for its geological and landscape features such as caves, gorges and ravines as well as for its cultural heritage including the Lepenski Vir and Vlasac Mesolithic-Neolithic archaeological sites.

Đerdap is internationally recognized as an Important Plant Area (IPA); it is dominated by 57 distinct, highly complex and diverse forest communities. Over 1,100 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been identified, making up more than a quarter of all the plant species of Serbia. Wetland habitats consist of an open water reservoir, rivers, streams, ponds and marshes with their associated aquatic plants, reeds and fringe communities of willow (Salix spp.) and alder (Alnus glutinosa).

Đerdap is exceptionally important for migrating and wintering birds due to its geographic location and the fact that large water bodies in the Site rarely freeze. Up to 150,000 birds are present during the winter, the majority of them ducks, geese and swans. The Site is also a breeding ground for a number of protected species such as the common tern (Sterna hirundo) and the black tern (Chlidonias niger) both listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive.

Source: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention