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Rácalmás Islands Nature Reserve

<p class="Norml1" style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="FR"> </span>The protected area includes the Great Island of Rácalmás, the reef islands of the Danube and the branch system between them.</p>


Basic data:

            Number of the decision declaring the area protected: Decree 5/1996 (IV. 17.) KTM.

            Registration number: /TT/96

            Size of protected area: 382 ha

            Affected parish boundaries: Rácalmás

Brief description of the protected natural assets

The island, like other similar areas along the Danube, was characterised by softwood and hardwood forests. Human interventions quickly changed this situation. The higher areas of the island used to be covered by large expanses of grassland, providing grazing land for the municipality.

Today, more than half of the forested areas covering the island are converted, heavily managed, artificially planted forests. Even so, there are still significant, continuous blocks of ash-oak forest. Valuable species of herbaceous vegetation include the protected Lignet's starflower and the summer peat moss, which occur in abundance throughout the area. Less common are the protected winter hellebore and black hawthorn.

On the island, two species of protected birds nest with varying regularity. Hundreds of duck species rest in the Danube waters in winter.

The purpose of the nature reserve is to preserve the now only patches of floodplain hardwood and softwood forests along the Danube, with their characteristic flora and fauna.

Main threats and specific conservation tasks

The main conservation problem at the moment is the planting of poplar trees, which began almost 20 years ago. The forest management planning and renovation work has been restricted to planting only native trees of the habitat's species composition. It is expected that within 15-20 years a forest structure will be established that is characteristic of floodplain groves.

A minor but more difficult problem is that the area is a popular and well-known fishing paradise. The negative impacts are mainly due to littering associated with irresponsible human presence. The elimination and reduction of this can only be achieved through long and arduous work.

A more serious, regional approach is needed to rehabilitate the now silted-up and blocked riverbeds. From a nature conservation point of view, it would also be desirable to open up certain riverbeds and ensure that they are replenished.