Lake Bistreț is located in the south of Dolj county, on the territory of Bistreț and Cârna communes, about 5 kilometers away from the Danube. Its geographical position and the living conditions offered by its habitats provide the lake a role of refuge for birds that move along the Danube. During the whole year, but especially during the spring and autumn migrations, the lake hosts hundreds or even thousands of birds.
Lake Bistreț covers an area of 1,936 hectares and is a reference site for the protection of migratory birds. In the area various species can be admired - ducks, geese, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, seagulls, terns and thrushes, various species of waders. Locals report that the place is dreamlike and you can see thousands of waterfowl with your eyes.
“Lake Bistreț is protected by law. It is an area where you can see thousands of bird species all over the place. Few are the ones who know about the existence of this reference site. I am fascinated by this place. Some birds stay on the lake all summer, and others stay only during the cold season, until the surface of the water is covered by ice. I stayed a meter away from storks or seagulls, and the sensation was indescribable. Over time I have studied and slowly I managed to discover a new world on Lake Bistreț ”, said Iulian Stoica from Bistreț.
Mirela Sabina Ridichie, a museographer at the Natural Sciences Department of the Oltenia Museum, said that Lake Bistreț received the status of Special Avifauna Protection Area in 2007. In 2012, Ramsar site status was also conferred. "The Ramsar site designation procedures, started as early as 2011, were made by the Romanian branch of the international non-governmental organization WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and SOR (Romanian Ornithological Society), which seek to identify cross-border sites with significance as living environment for birds migrating along the river. Thus, the newly registered Ramsar cross-border network comprises wetlands on both sides of the Danube, namely: Bistreț - Ibisha Island, Suhaia - Belene and Iezer Călărași - Sreberna”, said the museographer Mirela Ridichie.
The birds are attracted to this place by the rich and diversified food sources (fish, batrachians, snakes, worms, snails, shells, insects, phytoplankton), but also by the resting conditions. Many of the bird species that inhabit Lake Bistreț and its immediate surroundings are species protected by national and international law.
The residents of Bistreț are confident that the area can be transformed into an exceptional tourist destination. "We can promote local customs and organic products. We have the opportunity to develop economically with the help of Lake Bistreț, but unfortunately I think the authorities do not want this. It is sad that such a place is not very well known. European funds for infrastructure improvement could be accessed. Once you reach Lake Bistreț you are fascinated by everything you see. There are thousands of species of birds. We can admire species of ducks, geese, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, seagulls”, said Constantin Diaconu.
The Bistreț special avifauna protection area was in the custody of the Oltenia Museum between 2008-2009, and is currently included in the Natura 2000 site of the Jiu Corridor, under the administration of the Dolj County Council.