Biodiversity in the area – scientific, economic and cultural importance
The European importance of the High Nature Value landscape of the Târnava Mare area has only been recognized in the last few years. It is now seen in Romania, and in Europe, as a high priority area for the conservation of its still-working ecology, and for studies to understand how such areas can be protected or (much more difficult) restored elsewhere in Europe.
Fundaţia ADEPT is pleased to have been one of the leaders of this process of recognition.
Why is it so important?
This kind of landscape has almost entirely disappeared in lowland (under 800m) Europe. High Nature Value pastoral landscapes exist quite widely in the European Alps and Carpathians, but are extremely rare in lower altitudes in Europe today.
This may be the largest area in lowland Europe with extensive tracts of ancient landscape, intact villages and associated traditional agriculture. Both fauna and flora
are outstanding. The area possesses not only Europe’s most extensive non-alpine hay-meadows, with an astonishing diversity of wildflowers, but also the continent’s last lowland bears and wolves.
A man-made, semi-natural landscape
The biodiversity of man-made landscapes is often richer than that of wilderness areas, because the mosaic of habitats encourages species diversity. And their protection is more complex, since the interests of local human populations must be taken into account, and the continuation of traditional land management encouraged.
This low-input farming in a rich natural landscape provides an opportunity to study historical ecology by direct observation - and is increasingly relevant in current economic conditions. In addition to the grassland and forest habitats and species, the villages themselves retain a rich genetic heritage of fruit trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables, and ancient medicinal plants. The grassland flora is also an important genetic resource for agriculture, being rich in forage crops such as sainfoin and clovers, and crop relatives such as wild members of the cabbage family.
Conservation of the Târnava Mare area through Natura 2000 and agri-environment
Landscape-scale conservation of the Târnava Mare area is required to prevent fragmentation of the extensive, rich, inter-dependent habitats.
the Tarnava Mare area was included in the EU Natura 2000 network in 2008. ADEPT and collaborators are designing a comprehensive plan for managing and protecting the mosaic of habitats and associated species, and compensating farmers. → Further details.
Fundaţia ADEPT is working closely with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development to promote appropriate EU agri-environment measures, linked to grants to support small-scale traditional farmers. → Further details.
Conservation of such landscapes can also be promoted through proper valuation and recompense for ecosystem services. → Further details
Research: Târnava Mare as a model for the conservation of High Nature Value farmed landscapes across Europe
Fundatia ADEPT is carrying out research projects in:
Conservation of habitats and species
- field studies leading to an inventory and GIS-database of habitats and species that are protected under EU Habitats Directive, developing habitat/species conservation guidelines, and measuring their effectiveness. → Further details
- assessing agri-environment measures both in terms of biodiversity benefits and practicality for farmers. → Further details
Flora and Fauna
Through the year in the Târnava Mare areaThis link
offers a photographic calendar of activities and flora of the area.
Brief Guide to the Butterflies and Moths of the Sighisoara-Tarnava Mare area
In September 2010 Fundatia ADEPT launched the Brief Guide to the Butterflies and Moths of the Sighisoara-Tarnava Mare area.
This fascinating 62-page guide is written by Laslo Rakosy, one of Europe’s leading lepidoptera specialists. The booklet links the butterfly and moth species of the area to their grassland, forest and riparian habitats. The booklet is illustrated with over 100 colour photographs by the author.
Copies in English or Romanian language versions may be ordered from the ADEPT office in Saschiz: see under publications