Pricop-Huta-Certeze Site protects a forest area located around the homonymous mountain pass, which links the Miocene andesitic volcanic massifs of the Oaş and Igniş Mountains, and is limited by the national border with Ukraine in the north-west. Despite its modest elevation, between 268 and 1104 m, the site, dominated by forests, is located entirely in the beech forest level because of the humid and chilly climate, Atlantic with Baltic influences, with average multi-annual rainfall of over 700-750 mm and temperatures of 8-90C. In this area, the volcanic mountains hinder the movement of moist air masses that cross the Pannonian Basin from the west.
Although the standard datasheet of the site contains the information “important for bats and amphibians”, the site is actually more important for its role as ecological corridor for large mammals, overlaying the narrow area of the Huta-Certeze pass, between the forest massifs in the two above-mentioned volcanic massifs. Thus, the site provides the connection between the populations of large carnivores (bear, wolf and lynx) and deer in the Oaş, Igniş and Polean Mountains (Ukraine), and also ensures the free passage of these species from Ukraine to Romania, over the 5.6 km border area. This is only a 20-30 m wide strip, covered with dense thickets, and it must be further maintained permeable for large mammals.
The bat and amphibian species (out of which the populations of Triturus montandoni stand out, the regional endemic species of the Eastern and the Ukrainian Carpathians) are well preserved in the forest area of the site, still massif and well preserved, which comprises at least three types of forest habitats (including two beech habitats) and five meadows and rocky habitats.
Hypsometry of Pricop-Huta-Certeze Protected Area