The Măcin Mountains National Park
The Măcin Mountains are situated in the South-East of Romania, respectively in North-West Dobrogea, Tulcea County, between the Danube Valley, Luncaviţa Valley and the Cerna-Horia saddle. They are framed by the 28º07´ and 28º27´ E meridians, respectively by the 45º01´ and 45º21´ N parallels.
In the West and South-West of the natural park, the entrance is via the national road 22D, between Măcin and Horia. In the North there is there European road E87, linking Horia and Luncaviţa. The county road between Horia and Luncaviţa allows access to the East and North-East of the park.
The Măcin Mountains National Park (MMNP) has a surface of 11,151.82 hectares, and is divided into two zones: Pricopan Heights and Măcin Mountains.
The Măcin Mountains are the oldest mountains in the territory of Romania, being created during the Hercynian orogeny. The landscapes of the Măcin Mountains are alike those of Southern Europe due to the presence of sub-Mediterranean and Balkan forests. They also resemble Eurasian steppes, defined by saxicolous vegetation, the Măcin Mountains being the largest such area in Dobrogea and Romania.
The landscape originality is given by megalithic granite formations, as well as by the contrast between mesophilic forest vegetation and the xerophile steppe-like pastures. Rock weathering processes are active, resulting in surprising archaic landscapes. The representative character of these mountains at national level is given by the existence of three layers of vegetation proper to the Dobrogean Plateau: mesophilic Balkan deciduous forests, xerothermic sub-Mediterranean forests and the forest-steppe with sub-Mediterranean forests. The climate of these mountains has created a specific variety, unique in Europe, enhanced by the interference of the Black Sea-sub-Mediterranean, Central European and Asian ecosystem types. This gives the Măcin Mountains the look of a miniature synthesis of two great continents – Europe and Asia.
The fauna of the Măcin Mountains, generally less studied, is diverse and has a special importance due to the presence of rare and protected species, according to international regulations.
This biodiversity paradise brings together:
- Over 1,770 plant species, of which 72 are protected as being rare or vulnerable, and 27 are endemic to the region;
-181 bird species, of which 37 are strictly protected internationally, being mentioned in the habitats directive and the Bern Convention;
- 47 mammal species;
- 1,436 unidentified insect species, with over 900 butterfly species;
- 11 reptile species;
- 7 amphibian species;