Otter is finest gauge of Romania's mountain rivers

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Monitoring otters' behaviour is still the finest gauge for detecting the danger of ecosystem damage on mountain rivers, in protected natural areas of Romania, say local experts of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

'We monitor the species along the trophic chain, and if identified, it shows optimal conditions in their environment. For the river areas, we have used the otter as our indicator. If otters are present along a river, it means there is food for them, namely there is fish, and this shows that the river has high water quality. In our observations we take into account the morphological processes, the specific of the shore area and the river flow rate,' the manager of the Waters Department of WWF Cristian Tetelea told AGERPRES.

He said that there is no official data on the wild trout in the mountain rivers, but the species is closely monitored as an indicator of mountain water quality.

'Romania has no monitoring and no official data on the wild trout population, but this species is an indicator for the quality of water. Even the Romanian Waters National Administration uses it in its analysis reports as a benchmark for water quality; however, there is no specific and periodic monitoring or studies on wild trout. There is no monitoring because funds lack. The Romanian Waters National Administration has included it into its monitoring programmes, but without specific data for geographical basins,' the expert of WWF Romania explained.

WWF Romania manager Magor Csibi and the Minister Delegate for Waters, Forests and Fisheries Lucia Varga have signed a collaboration protocol for the protection of the most valuable sections of natural rivers in the Carpathian Mountains. AGERPRES

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