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» Protected Areas » Körös-Maros National Park » Introducion of the units » Dévaványai-Ecsegi plains
Dévaványai-Ecsegi plains

The expanding water of river Berettyó fed the biggest erstwhile marshland of the Great Plain, the Nagy-Sárrét. Grazelands, meadows and smaller patches of groves covered the downy areas. In the higher regions settlements emerged, among them the village Ecseg in Templom-zug has been a centre of the region for many centuries.After the regulation of river Berettyó the landscape has changed considerably. The hydrological regime of the region has changed: the grassy floodplain meadows dried out and the sodic grasslands dominating the landscape have developed. The Dévaványai-Ecsegi plains form the biggest area unit of the National Park. The protected area is 13,085 hectares, 2,659 hectares of which are strictly protected. It is divided into two parts concerning its origin and habitats. One of them is the flood plain of river Hortobágy-Berettyó and its unregulated riverbed with the grasslands and woods around the bends of the riverbanks. The other area is the mosaic of sodic grasslands in the region of Ecsegfalva and Dévaványa. The 20 kms long riverbed of river Hortobágy-Berettyó was not regulated at the time of river regulation. Its branches meander slowly, and enclose some picturesque corners mostly covered with grass. The most valuable plants of its rich flora are the yellow water lily, water chestnut and the floating water moss.From spring to autumn the inundation areas and the clearings near the riverbanks covered with bulrush are the favourite feeding places of a lot of species of waterfowl. You can see coots, mallards and moorhens, but sometimes the bigger-bodied cranes also alight here. The grey and purple herons as well as the quawks, little egrets and squacco herons can also be met in these regions. The rare cranes even nest in the protected forest from year to year. In the floodplains of the river the otters also find favourable living conditions. On the Ecsegpuszta grazelands the traditional graze farming and its buildings have largely survived. The hayfields and marshland meadows covered with meadow foxtail give home to some rare cryptogem plants e.g. the protected Hart’s tongue and the maidenhair spleenwort.When the dyke of the river Hortobágy-Berettyó at the Templom-zug corner was constructed, a silver musette plate from the age of settlement of Hungarian tribes in the Carpathian basin was found in the Cuman burial place called Bokroshalom. At present it can be seen in the Hungarian National Museum. On the protected area the remnants of an ancient fortification from 330-350 AD can be seen, which was built by Sarmatian people. Its name is Ördögárok. The dyke is about one and a half kms long and it recalls the old ages in the charming surroundings of the loess grassland with its characteristic plant species like the sages, the hare’s foot trefoil and the bearded wheat grass. The drier regions are covered by milfoil and artemisia grasslands. Where there is a bigger accumulation of salt the ground surface is often bare, and only the leaves of salt grasses like Puccinellion and Artemisia santonicum are found. The wetter places are covered by meadow foxtail. The stands of Aster sedifolius and Peucedanum officinale of the vast grasslands represent an outstanding biological value.The bustard is another very special natural value of the Dévaványa-Ecsegfalva region. Its most viable population of Hungary and Europe lives on these steppes. For the protection of bustard a bustard reserve was established here in 1979. The success of protection of bustard and mainly the protection of bustard population on the plains depends on the establishment of undisturbed and spacious breeding grounds and nesting places, the continuous supply of winter food and the protection of nests. Only those endangered eggs are taken to the bustard reserve, the hatching of which is impossible in the natural conditions. These eggs are hatched in hatching machines, then the hatched nestlings are reared in the farm and finally they are released back to their natural habitats.The extensive utilization of the protected fields that takes into account the demands of nature preservation is favourable not only for the bustards but for lots of other birds as well. Fairly big flocks of Montagu’s harrier, stone curlew, short-eared owl and roller nest on the protected plains. As a result of the careful protection rare raptors choose this undisturbed place for nesting. The white-tailed eagle, the imperial eagle and the sakeret brood here. On the open grasslands used for grazing, there are boltholes of gophers. These protected rodents are the main food for the imperial eagle and the sakeret therefore their continuous decrease may have serious consequences. For the demonstration of nature protection activities carried out in the region and the area’s natural beauties the National Park established the Réhely Visitor Centre where the visitors can borrow bicycles and book a guide and an accommodation. In the farm-like centre the visitors can see some ancient Hungarian animals in traditional keeping conditions.

2009. 08. 18. Print page
©2005 A KvVM
Természetvédelmi Hivatala