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Danube Delta Danger

Ukraine urged to save Danube delta reserve

Cambridge, UK, 20th May 2003

The Ukrainian Union for Bird Conservation (UTOP) ? the BirdLife International Partner organisation in the Ukraine, today urged the Ukrainian Government to cancel plans to build a deep-water canal through a strictly protected zone of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve on the Black Sea coast.If it goes ahead, this development will destroy the nesting and staging sites of tens of thousands of birds, including six species on the IUCN Red List of Globally Threatened Species and 3 on the Ukrainian Red List, said Oleg Dudkin of UTOP. Along with the Volga Delta in Russia, this is the most important wetland site for birds in Europe.In a letter sent today, UTOP has urged the Ukrainian Government to give an undertaking to cancel plans for the new canal at this week`s European Environment Minister`s Summit in Kiev which opens on 21st May. UTOP says there are at least six preferable alternative routes to the proposed canal including Solomonov ? Zhebriyanovskaya Bay.BirdLife International is going to write to the European Commission calling on them not to support the proposal and BirdLife Partners organisations in countries that include or border the River Danube are also going to write to their respective governments calling on them not to support the proposed development and to lobby the Ukrainian Government to cancel the plans and instead favour an alternative.The reserve is internationally recognized as being important. It is protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, it is on the UNESCO global reserve network list, it is part of the joint Ukrainian and Romanian transborder biosphere reserve, and it is an Important Bird Area (IBA).The reserve is habitat for six globally threatened and near threatened species: the Critically Endangered Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris, the Vulnerable Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis, the Conservation Dependent Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, and the Near Threatened Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pigmaeus and White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla.For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Dr. Oleg Dudkin in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tel/Fax +380 44 294 7131 or via email utop@iptelecom.net.ua or Michael Szabo at BirdLife International in Cambridge, UK, on +44 (0)1223 277318 or +44 (0)7779 018 332 (mobile).

4th July 2014