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Steppic Biogeographical Region

Covering less than 1% of the EU territory, the Steppic Region has only a small foothold in the European Union. But, from these modest beginnings, it develops into a vast band of vegetation that stretches out over southern Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and western Kazakhstan. It eventually continues all the way across Asia to the foothills to the Altai Mountains on the borders of Mongolia. Within the EU, the Steppic Region is found only in one Member State: Romania. It begins east of the capital city of Bucharest and incorporates the entire eastern region known as Dobrogea. It is characterised by low-lying plains and undulating hills or plateaus with an average height of 200–300 metres.

The natural steppe vegetation is composed mainly of grasses such as couch grass, feather grass and fescue as well as herbaceous plants like cinquefoil, mullein and wormwood which appear randomly amidst the tall grasses.

However, because the soils within the steppes are particularly rich in humus and consequently very fertile they have been much sought after for agriculture. Pockets of natural vegetation are now increasingly hard to come by and tend to be restricted to inaccessible places like the Macin Mountains. Located in the eastern most corner of Romania near the town of Braila, these ancient mountains are a vital refuge for the many plants and animals that are typical of the Steppic Region such as the Levant sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, the steppic polecat Mustela eversmannii and the Romanian hamster Mesocricetus newtoni.

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Member States:

RO

 

More information:

Ecosystems and Habitats

Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process in the Pannonian Region

Regional Cooperation

Relevant Projects

Relevant Publications

 

Ecosystems and Habitats

 

 

Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process in the Steppic Region

Document library

Background documents

 

Discussion Forum

Sub-forum dedicated to the Steppic biogeographical region

 

Preparatory / Follow up actions

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Regional Cooperation

 

 

Relevant Projects