Located in the heart of Hungary, Lake Balaton is Central Europe's largest freshwater lake and a cherished national treasure. Covering an area of approximately 592 km², Lake Balaton is of great ecological importance and faces its own set of challenges.
The lake's ecosystem is characterized by its diversity, providing a habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species. With its nutrient-rich waters, Lake Balaton supports a thriving fish population, including carp, perch and catfish. The reed-lined shores and wetlands provide important breeding and nesting grounds for numerous bird species, contributing to the region's biodiversity.
What makes it special
With an average depth of 3,25m, Lake Balaton is a very shallow lake. The water heats up quickly in Summer and can exceed 30°C.
· Ramsar Site 421, Wetland of International Importance
· EU Natura 2000
· National Park - Balaton-felvidéki
Lake Balaton boasts a vibrant biodiversity. Its feathered inhabitants include 250 species of birds, 27 of which are strictly protected, such as the Spoonbill and the Long-eared Owl. In the insect world, the lake is a haven for over 1.000 species, including 800 species of butterfly. Below the surface, there are 41 species of native fish.
Lake Balaton and surroundings are a touristic hotspot.
Problems of anthropogenic origin include eutrophication and other water quality issues, introduction of foreign, potentially invasive species, loss of natural habitat in the littoral zone due to concrete shore protection, erosion and soil contamination in the watershed etc.
The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (Hungary) coordinates the development of the Balaton region with the aim of protecting the natural values of the lake. LBDCA’s projects show how to increase the region’s competitiveness at national and international level. An important component is the educational work based on internationally gathered knowledge in workshops with local stakeholders.
LBDCA has participated in several European programmes dealing with educational aspects of nature conservation.
Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.