Stepa Saraiu - Horea SPA



Stepa Saraiu - Horea SPA is located in the south-east part of Romania, between the villages Horia, Cloșca, Saraiu and Dulgheru. The site preserves steppe habitats from western Dobrogea, present in a rather fragmented hilly landform. The territory is traversed from east to west by Topolog Valley which has a continuous water flow that riches the Danube through Lake Hazarlac. The floristic elements are composed by Eastern European as well as species from Mediterranean and Balkan flora. The land is mostly used for agriculture and grazing.

The site also hosts small mammals, including the European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus, representing a source of food for all raptor species which transit the area.

Birds in the protected area

In the site can be seen over 57 bird species. Of the birds occurring there, 29 are included in Annex I of Birds Directive. The site is important for nesting populations of the following species: Stone-curlow (Burhinus oedicnemus), European roller (Coracias garrulus), Great short-toed lark (Calandrella brachydactyla), Red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus), Calandra lark (Melanocorypha calandra), Tawny pipit (Anthus campestris) and Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria).

The Saker falcon is using the site as a foraging ground, due to very dense population of the European ground squirrel and many other small mammals and medium sized birds. The site is offering also good areas where the falcons can place their nests.

Threats to the protected area

  • Human activities
    The site is subject to anthropogenic pressure especially through the traditional grazing activity and intensive farming activities.
  • Wind turbine farms
    The construction of wind farms at the site will reduce the areas used by species that nest in grassland habitats or crops and will have a major negative impact on bird migration. The wind farms in the vicinity of the site also affect the feeding habitats of some bird species that nest on the territory of the site.