Coasta Lunii Cheţani

Coasta Lunii is a Natura 2000 protected site located in Cheţani commune, Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania, and it has a surface of 830 ha (3% of commune's surface).

In this area, following investigations conducted by members of the Romanian Society of Lepidopterists, were identified 739 species of butterflies of which a species is new to science, one is unique in Europe, 14 new for the fauna of Romania, and many new for the fauna of Transylvania. Were identified also over 160 species of plants. For many steppe species, the steppe habitats of the Transylvania Plain are the western extremity of the area of distribution.

Importance: the area has steppe slopes of the most representative and best preserved in Transylvania, with rich flora (Crambe tartaria, Iris humilis, etc.). Among the Lepidoptera - the best studied group of invertebrates - there is found the endemic species Filatima transsilvanella, but also a series of 17 rare species, particularly in terms of zoo-geographic importance.

Vulnerability: the adversely impact of the surrounding agrarian land is felt primarily through the accumulation of waste or occasional arson. In the future, it will prevent forestation of pine and acacia, leading to drastic reduction of biodiversity, leading in extreme cases even to the complete elimination of native vegetation. In some parts, from excessive grazing can be observed a pronounced ruderalization.

Iernut - Cipău Ponds

Iernut - Cipău Ponds are located in Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania. The ponds were created by damming, initially the water was pumped from the Mureş River located in the vicinity. In recent years the rains are raising the water level regularly, especially at Iernut Pond. The Iernut ponds were created in 1975 - two ponds with an area of 108 ha, and the Cipău ponds in 1983 - 4 ponds with an area of 57 ha.

Photo: Neluţu

Importance: Natura 2000 protected site, C4 - large gatherings of water birds. The two farms are an important resting place for migratory birds in Transylvania, and regularly host between 35,000 to 48,000 water birds. In recent years, at Iernut the willows grew in the midst of one of the lakes and there formed a small colony of night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), which, with a proper management, could increase in coming years. The human impact is more pronounced at Iernut due to disturbance created by the large number of fishermen and hunters in some periods, and due to some management issues of the fisheries.

Secular oaks from Breite

Breite is a nature reserve near Sighişoara, Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania. It has a surface of 70 ha and protects six centuries old oaks.

Geological / geo-morphological aspects: the hilly region tilt slightly with slopes with partly sunny exhibition. The geological substrate is located on a Transylvanian Neogene sedimentary basin with deposits consisting of marly clays and sands.

Vegetation: the area is located in a hilly zone, with sessile oak forest. On the pasture are secular trees, aged between 400 and 600 years with uneven settlement in small groups, with densities of 0.1-0.2 / ha. The trees are in a ratio of 80-90% viable, with broad crown covering the whole trunk and leafy branches typical to singular trees. The oaks have a shaft diameter between 1.0-1.8 m and a height of 12-20 m. The grass vegetation is typical for hilly areas.

Fauna: the fauna do not have special characters, is a normal fauna for the hilly forests and grasslands.

Fărăgău Lake

Fărăgău Lake is a nature reserve in Mureş County, Transylvania, Romania.

The area is located in the hills of Transylvanian Plain, between Tg. Mureş and Reghin. The geological formations are Tertiary and Quaternary, frequently occurring Panonian and Sarmatian formations consisting of clays, marly clays and sands. The lake is situated in the valley on the NW-SE, with an inclination of 10° and at an altitude of 360 m. Situated in the Mureş River hydrographic basin, Fărăgău Lake was formed behind of a natural dam of sediments on Sar Rivulet, being the latest natural lake in Transylvania. In the years 1984-1987, the lake was transformed into fish pond. It has a total length of 750 m, total width of 350 m, maximum depth of 4.5 m and a layer of lacustrine deposits of 3-5 m.

Plant species on around the lake reveals a series of rarities such as: Sonchus paluster, Senecio paludorus, Lathyrus paluster, Epipactis palustris, Oenante silaifolia, Hammarby paludosa, and some rare hydrophyte species specific to this biotope as: Parnassos palustris, Sium latifolium, Rorippa anphibia, Oenante aquatica, Salix rosmarinifolia, asperula rivalis, Epilobium palustre, Triglochin palustre, Carex paniculata, Geranium palustre, etc. The reserve regime of the is motivated by the presence of the areas where peat moss (Sphagnum) form associations with the fern Dryopteris thelypteris.

In terms of fauna there are a number of rare species as: the ostracoda Darwinula Zimmer, relict of tropical origin, the frog species Rana arvalis weltersterffi, but the real reason for declaring the area as a protected area is that this lake with the whole downstream fish development are a great place of refuge and feeding grounds for many species of birds (about 180 species have been observed, of which 40 nesting species).