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The Upper Tisa Valley

Hamar, J. & Sárkány-Kiss, A. (eds): The Upper Tisa Valley. Preparatory proposal for Ramsay site designation and an ecological background Hungarian, Romanian, Slovakian and Ukrainian co-operation. Szeged, 1999.




The River Tisa catchment area is one of the most important regions in the Danube River Basin. Since 1991, we have been studying the transboundary river valleys from their headwaters to their junctions with River Tisa.

The Upper Tisa region is not just a culturally and ethnically unique territory, but also has a diverse natural and life history. Prospective social and economic changes, as a result of the transition from one economic and social system to another, now threaten this region where natural resources, forests, water, are of the greatest value to the people living there.

This book is a case-study of the Upper Tisa Valley, where besides surveying the ecological background, we have completed a proposal for the establishment of a 400 km long (about 140 000 ha) transboundary Ramsay Wetland System. The Project has been carried through by non-governmental organisations of four countries: Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia.

We hope our ambition can contribute to building the Pan-European Ecological Network, furthermore the natural and cultural heritage of the regions can be components of a sustainable development.

József Hamar
Tisza Klub
Szolnok, Hungary

Andrei Sárkány-Kiss
Liga Pro Europa, Environmental Group
Tárgu Mureş, Romania




The basic obligations of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands are the following:

  • each Contracting Party shall designate suitable wetlands within its territory for inclusion on a List of Wetlands of International Importance;
  • the Contracting Parties shall formulate and implement their planning so as to promote the conservation of the wetlands included in the List and, as much as possible, the wise use of wetlands in their territory;
  • each Contracting Party shall promote the conservation of wetlands and waterfowl by establishing nature reserves in wetlands, irrespective of whether they are included in the List or not, and provide adequately for their wardening;
  • the Contracting Parties shall consult with each other about implementing obligations arising from the Convention especially in the case of a wetland extending over the territories of more than one Contracting Party or where a water system is shared by CPs. They shall at the same time endeavour to coordinate and support present and future policies and regulations concerning the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna.

In order to streamline and focus the activities for the implementation of the treaty, a Strategic Plan for the Convention was introduced a few years ago. Within the framework of this Plan, international cooperation activities — interalia such related to transfrontier wetlands — have been intensified.

It was clear also that the Plan needed even greater involvement of the community of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), for instance in identifying wetlands of these international importance, including those within shared catchment/river basins.

Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine are members of the Ramsar Convention, and the NGOs, the experts, researchers, and committed individuals of countries who compiled this book endeavoured to put into practice the fourth above obligation as well as the relevant objective of the Strategic Plan.

They collected the necessary Ramsar data, carried out surveys and research in the Upper Tisa river catchment. It is encouraging that NGOs took the initiative and intensively cooperated in order to prepare a possible future transboundary Ramsar site. It is hoped that this initiative will be followed-up by the respective governments of the four involved countries.

Data collection on the physical, ecological features, hydrological, biodiversity as well as social and cultural values and benefits of a wetland — in particular a transboundary one — is a tedious and complicated work constituting an important first step in conserving, maintaining and wisely using this habitat type.

It is well known that the success in any field depends on the willing cooperation of partners fully informed and working together to achieve shared goals. This publication significantly contributes to the revealing and better understanding of the values of the Upper Tisa region.

Therefore the efforts of the authors of this book are to be highly appreciated and commended.

Louise Lakos
Chairperson of the Standing Committee
of the Ramsay Convention on Wetlands





Preparatory proposal for Ramsay site designation

Mihály Végh: Dear Reader

Ukrainian section I.

Romanian section

Ukrainian section II.

Hungarian section I.

Hungarian section II

Slovakian section I.

Slovakian section 11.

Hungarian section III.

Ecological background

Andrei Sárkány-Kiss, József Haman & Nicolae Mihailescu: Description of sampling sites along the Upper Tisa  

Mihály Andó: Hydrogeographical features of the Upper Tisa river-system

Pál Sümegi: Reconstruction of flora, soil and landscape evolution, and human impact on the Bereg Plain from late-glacial up to the present, based on palaeoecological analysis

Pecher, L, S. Stoiko & U. Kichura: Appeal to the participants of the Second World Congress PRO SILVA, 1996

Conception for the regeneration of the upper forest boundary and for the optimisation of hydrological regimes in the Ukrainian Carpathians, 1997

Constantin Drágulescu, István Fintha, Andrij Mihály & Anikó Szabó: Wetland flora and vegetation of the Upper Tisa river valley

Vladimir Kricsfalusy: Flora and vegetation of the Ukrainian Upper Tisa Basin: Aspects of biodiversity conservation

Márta Béres: Data to the vegetation of mushrooms in the Upper-Tisa Region

Károly Konecsny: Water developments and their impact on runoff in the Upper Tisa catchment  

Gáborné Kocsis: Chemical water quality of the upper section of River Tisa (the Ukrainian and NE Hungarian part of the catchment area)  

Judit Soós: Hygienic bacteriological valuation of the Upper Tisa Region

József Hamar: Algological data on the upper reach of River Tisa

Andrey Kovalchuk: Free-living Ciliates of River Tisa and its tributaries . .  

Natalia Kovalchuk: Crustaceans (Ostracoda, Cladocera, Copepoda)

from basins of the River Tisa Region (Ukraine)

Katalin Zsuga: Zooplankton investigations in the Upper Tisa Region . . .  

András Szító: The Oligochaete and the Chironomid fauna of the Upper Tisa Region and its tributaries

Andrei Sárkány-Kiss : A study of aquatic molluscs in the Upper Tisa . . .  

Nicolae Galdean: Some considerations about the rheophilic elements of the benthic fauna (ord. Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) of the Upper Tisa Region  

Sára Nógrádi & Ákos Uherkovich: Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the Hungarian section of River Tisa

Ákos Harker & Petre M Banarecsu: Fish fauna of the Upper Tisa  

Károly Györe, Zoltán Sallai & Csaba Csikai: Data to the fish fauna of River Tisa and its tributaries in Hungary and Romania  

Tamás Deli & Pál Sümegi: Biogeographical characterisation of Szatmár-Bereg plain based on the mollusc fauna  

Anikó Szabó & István Fintha: The third and most significant record of Chilostoma banaticum (Rossmassler, 1838) ( = Helicigona banatica) in Hungary (Tiszabecs, floodplain of River Tisa)

Ludvik Potish: Birds of the Ukrainian region of the Upper Tisa  

Gyula Krocskó: Vertebrates of the Subcarpathian section of the River Tisa flood area (Ukraine)


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