Balta Amara Protected Nature Reserve (RNPBA) was declared a protected area by Decision no. 13/23.06.1995 of the Buzău County Council, this statute being established by Law no. 5/2000 regarding the approval of the National Territory Planning Plan, Section III – Protected Areas. Amara Lake has been designated as a protected nature reserve area for the purpose of protecting and conserving the habitat of saturated continental meadows, prioritized in the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC and restored to a favorable conservation status for specific habitats designated for the protection of wild migratory bird species.
The reservation corresponds to the 4th IUNC category, being located on the huge main bird migration corridor, which starts from the wetlands of the 1000 lakes and reaches, after about 5000 km, to the heart of Africa, near Lake Tanganyika. On this aisle, the Danube Delta is one of the two stops for food and rest along the journey.
RNPBA is situated on the territory of the administrative unit Balta Albă, in the village of Amara, with an area of 803 ha and a perimeter about 11,8 km.
SPECIES WITHIN THE AREA
Balta Amara Protected Nature Reserve (RNPBA)
In Balta Amara Reserve, aquatic vegetation is specific to the lakes with slightly salty waters from the plain area, where the volume of water varies greatly depending on climatic conditions, alternating from halophilic to pale, depending on the season and water level.
The conditions offered by this nature reserve, the large amount of fish and the presence of a reed island of over 200 ha in the middle of the pond lead to a massive avifauna looking for food, shelter and nesting.
Thus, the variety of habitats found in the reserve, supplemented by the specific vegetation – reedbeds, tree clusters, bushes, plus the fish, as the main food of many of the birds, are some of the conditions that make Balta Amara a perfect destination every year, as a seasonal or stage halt, providing a favorable living environment for over 100 species in this category, many of which are vulnerable or endangered internationally.
As with other fishponds, nesting species can be found on native vegetation (chirighița cu obraji albi, corcodelul cu gât roșu), nesting species in reedbeds (lișița, corcodelul mare, stârcul roșu, lopătarul, țigănușul, pelicanul comun, pelicanul creț, egreta mică, cormoranul mare, pescărușul argintiu), nesting species in trees or shrubs (cormoranul mic), nesting species on the ground (nagâțul), species nesting on islets (gulls, ducks).
They are joined by migratory species nesting or/ and feeding and resting in fishing grounds. Among the summer or winter guests (geese, ducks, coots) who prefer such areas, we mention eretele vânăt and the red-necked goose, strictly protected and threatened with global disappearance.
More than 100 species of birds are present here depending greatly on the weather conditions, the water level in the lake, but also the presence and variation of the food specific to these creatures.
At the same time, the Balta Amara is a great place for fish farming and fishing, two traditional activities in the area.
In the area of the ponds, in 1970 a rare occurrence took place: the main source of water – the river Buzău, which ensures the optimal level of the lake (permanently affected by drought and intense evaporation), naturally changed its course, from about 500 meters to a few kilometers away from the reservation. The loss of the main source of water has led to increased clogging and changes in water chemistry, with negative consequences for the creatures of the future Amara reserve.
Things started to return to normal since 2011, when Maximilian Buzău Association (AMB), together with the company using the lake for aquaculture related activities, started to operate a water supply station on the banks of the Buzău River. Having 3 water pumps and about 14 km of underground pipeline, the transport of about 500 thousand cubic meters of water was ensured to a basin used for sand removal and natural filtration. From the basin, by the use of the gravitational force, passing through a canal, the water reaches the reserve lake Balta Amara.
It should be noted that the Amara fishery farming company (made up of farm-breeding lake and crap brood nursery) has implemented two European funded projects aiming at developing aquaculture using methods that do not endanger the life of wild birds and are also aligned with the Maximilian Association’s objectives of protecting and preserving the natural values of this area: the project “Aquaculture in the Natura 2000 site – Amara Fisheries” (2010-2015) and the project “Transition to Ecological Aquaculture in the Amara Fisheries, Buzău County” (2011-2018).
We also remind that in SCI0005, on the territory of the administrative unit Balta Albă, near the Balta Amara reservation, between the villages of Amara and Stăvărăşti, at the initiative of the Balta Alba Local Council, a storage and manure management platform was set up.
The massive decline of fish production in this area (as in the whole eastern and southeastern part of Europe) over the past decades, as well as a whole series of changes brought about by man’s intervention in the South East’s natural environment of Romania – especially the drainage and the transition to agriculture in Balta Brăilei and Balta Ialomiţei – have disrupted the migration of the birds, causing a strong increase of their presence in the ponds and lakes adjacent to the inner rivers, especially in the populated fisheries, which have gradually become their refuge andnutrition areas. When fishery resources started to disappear from Balta Albă, Ianca, Movila Miresii, Maxineni, Costeiu, Ciulnița, Jirlău, etc., between 1986 and 1993, most bird species moved to the fisheries area, this now being the Amara nature reserve.
Balta Amara Protected Nature Reserve (RNPBA)