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» Categories of Protected Areas in Hungary » Ramsar Sites of Hungary
Ramsar Sites of Hungary


After joining the Ramsar Convention, Hungary inscribed many wetland sites on the list of wetlands of international importance. Further areas became designated in 1989, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008; altogether 28 Hungarian wetland habitats are enlisted on the Ramsar List with a total area of over 200,000 ha. The Ramsar sites in Hungary include all characteristic types of wetland areas in the Carpathian Basin: lakes, marshes, alkaline lakes, bogs, backwaters, river stretches, wet meadows, man-made fish farms and reservoirs. Certain sites were qualified by fulfilling several of the criteria of international importance. These areas include: Hortobágy, Kardoskúti Fehértó, Lake Fertő and Gemenc. The other Ramsar sites in Hungary also meet at least two criteria.


Ramsar sites in Hungary

# Site Name Area (hectares) Year RIS Map
1. Szaporca 257.0 1979 RIS map
2. Velence and Dinnyés 965.0 1979 RIS map
3. Kardoskút 488.0 1979 RIS map
4. Mártély 2,232.0 1979 RIS map
5. Felső-Kiskunság Alkaline Lakes 6,637.0  1979 (2003) RIS map
6. Pusztaszer 4,721.0 1979 RIS map
7. Hortobágy 32,037.0 1979 (1997, 2008) RIS map
8. Kis-Balaton 14,745.0 1979 (1989) RIS map
9. Lakes of Tata 1,633.4 1989 (2006) RIS map
10. Lake Fertő 8,432.0 1979 (1997) RIS map
11. Lake Balaton (01.Okt-30. Apr) 59,800.0 1989 RIS map
12. Bodrogzug 4,073,2 1989 RIS map
13. Ócsa 1,078.0 1989 RIS map
14. Pacsmag 485.2 1997 RIS map
15. Rétszilas 1,508.0 1997 RIS
16. Biharugra 2,791.0 1997 RIS map
17. Gemenc 16,873.0 1997 RIS
18. Béda-Karapancsa 1,149.7 1997 RIS map
19. Lake Kolon 2,962.0 1997 RIS map
20. Baradla 2,075.3 2001 RIS
21. Ipoly 2,227.6 2001 RIS map
22. Felső-Tisza 22,310.7 2003 RIS map
23. Csongrád-bokros 770.0 2003 RIS
24. Nyirkai-Hany 433.7 2006 RIS map
25. Rába-völgy 9,475.0 2006 RIS map
26. Felső-Kiskunság Alkaline Steppes 13,632.3 2006 RIS
27. Borsodi-Mezőség 17,932.2 2008 RIS
28. Montág-puszta 2,203.0 2008 RIS

Sum 233,927.6      

National Report on the Implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (pdf)

1% population threshold


Particularly significant among the other criteria of international importance is the criterion based on the 1% threshold of any population of a waterbird species or subspecies. On the Ramsar sites of Hungary 1% (in many cases even more) of the global or European population of the following species can be observed:

  • great white egret: Lake Fertő, Kis- Balaton, Pacsmag, Gemenc, Rétszilas Lakes TT, Dinnyés-Fertő TT, Lake Kolon, Pusztaszeri TK;
  • black stork: Gemenc, Bodrogzug;
  • spoonbill: Lake Fertő, Hortobágy, Dinnyés-Fertő, Lake Kolon, Pusztaszeri TK, Biharugra;
  • Bean Goose: Lake Fertő, Kis-Balaton, Balaton, Béda-Karapancsa, Gemenc, Rétszilas Lakes TT, Dinnyés Fertő TT, Old Lake of Tata, Hortobágy;
  • Greylag Goose: Lake Fertő, Kis-Balaton;
  • Lesser White-fronted Goose: Hortobágy;
  • White-fronted Goose: Kardoskút, Hortobágy;
  • Teal: Hortobágy;
  • Shoveler: Hortobágy;
  • Pochard: Balaton;
  • Goldeneye: Balaton;
  • Red-crested Pochard: Lake Fertő;
  • Coot: Kis-Balaton;
  • Crane: Hortobágy, Whitelake of Kardoskút, Pusztaszeri TK;
  • Spotted Redshank: Pusztaszeri TK, Hortobágy;
  • Ruff: Hortobágy;
  • Curlew: Hortobágy;
  • Whiskered Tern: Hortobágy.

TT = nature reserve
TK = landscape protection area


The 1% threshold is reached for 11 species in the Hortobágy Ramsar site, followed by Lake Fertő (5 species), the Kis-Balaton and the Pusztaszer Landscape Protection Area Ramsar sites (4-4 species) and Lake Balaton (3 species). The criterion of "20,000 waterbirds regularly occurring" is fulfilled by half of the Hungarian Ramsar sites; these are Hortobágy, Kardoskúti Fehértó, Kis-Balaton, Lake Öreg of Tata, Lake Fertő, Balaton, Bodrogzug, Rétszilas Fishponds, Nyirkai-Hany and the Biharugrai Landscape Protection Area Ramsar sites. The most significant aggregations consist of the populations of waterfowl and cranes. Interestingly, although the Balaton Ramsar site provides particularly good conditions for migrating ducks and geese, it wouldn't meet the criteria of "international significance" during the summer months, therefore, its status of international significance is temporary, from 1 October until 30 April.

In order to support implementation of the national tasks to a high standard, the Ministry of Environment established a national committee in 1995. The members of the committee are representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Policy, other authorities, research institutes, universities, civil organizations for nature conservation and businessmen concerned with the protection and utilisation of wetlands.

One of the most important parts of the duties deriving from the basic obligations is the nature conservation management of the sites of international importance. Hungary is well positioned in this field, since the elaboration of the management plan of each site has already begun, and many of them are being implemented. The management plans are in line with the basic principles of the Convention, and are characterised by a clear, logical structure that enlists the given site's characteristics and assets and also determines the short-term objectives. The continuous monitoring of the ecological character and the regular review are very important parts of the plans.

Since the accession Hungary has played an active role in the implementation of the Convention not only on national but on international level as well. The representative of Hungary was elected president of the Standing Committee on the Conference of the Parties in 1991; Hungary retained this position for two terms, until 1999. During this period Hungary also represented the Central-European Region in the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.

2017. 07. 12. Print page
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