• Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

    Ireland: Cliffs of Moher! Go Now!

    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Serbia!

    Serbia: Houses in the mountains. Go Now!

    Serbia
    Serbia is a historic power now looking internally to re-discovery their identity and future. Explore Serbia!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Switzerland!

    Switzerland: The Matterhorn. Go Now!

    Switzerland
    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

  • Iceland!

    Iceland: Traditional House! Go Now!

    Iceland
    Although linked to Scandinavia, as an island Iceland has a culture all its own, but most visitors come for the natural beauty. Explore Iceland!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Moldova

Geography

Moldovan Geography - River bend
River bend

Moldova is a landlocked country located in Eastern Europe near the Black Sea. The country is much smaller than its neighbors of Romania, which is to its west and Ukraine, which is to its east.

Geographically, Moldova is a low-lying country with a couple rivers running north to south. Most of the country's landscape is hilly with few areas that have extreme drops or rises in elevation other than in some areas along the river banks. This landscape has created an environment in which both transportation and crop growth is easily accessible and hence, ideal living conditions for people.

Only about 15% of Moldova is wooded today, although that number was higher a couple centuries ago, particularly in the north before the land was cleared for farming. Most of the remaining forested areas today are in the central to eastern part of the country, most noticeably along the Nistru River. Over 50% of the land is arable today.

Since there is little geographic variety throughout the country and the land boasts great conditions for agriculture, the population is well distributed throughout the country, except in parts of the south where rain and rivers are not as prevalent. This even distribution of people and focus on farming makes Moldova a very rural, but fairly densely populated country as farm plots tend to be small.

Moldova's Top Geographic Sights:
-The Nistru River Valley in the cities of Soroca or Tiraspol
-Rolling hills at the vineyards in Cricova or Milestii Mici

Learn More about Moldova's Geography:
-Historical Atlas of Central Europe by Paul Robert Magocsi. University of Washington Press. Seattle, WA U.S.A. 2002. (Buy Now)
-Atlas of the World by Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. 2012. (Buy Now)
-www.moldova.md

Weather

Moldovan Geography - Winter snows
Winter snows

Moldova's seasons are fairly distinct as the country receives a mild continental climate. Winters (December-February) can be very cold and rarely get above freezing in some parts of the country, but also tends to be dry so gets little snow. Average temperatures throughout the country during the winter months is about 25˚ F (-4˚ C), although the land closest to the Black Sea is generally a bit warmer, while the north tends to be a bit cooler.

In the spring and fall (autumn), temperatures and precipitation can be inconsistent. Temperatures can range as widely as freezing to 70˚ F (21˚ C) within a single month and again the lands closest to the Black Sea tend to remain a bit more consistent, rarely having the extreme swings.

Summers in Moldova have averages of about 70˚ F (21˚ C), with daily highs typically reaching 80˚ F (27˚ C) in most of the country, although the southern lands near the Black Sea generally don't get as hot. These long summers receive a fair amount of rainfall, which allows great crop growth. The rains are fairly evenly distributed throughout the spring and summer, although in any year dry spells can and have occurred, hurting the farm production. During springs and summers with greater rainfall, the lowlands and the river valleys can get flooded. The north generally receives a little more rain than the south and the far southwest is the driest part of the country.

These seasonal variations and consistent rainfall, like the landscape, provide an ideal environment for life to thrive as water is easily accessible and this water also allows for the growth of various foods.

Learn More about Moldova's Weather:
-The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture by Charles King. Hoover Institution Press. Stanford, CA U.S.A. 2000. (Buy Now)
-www.weather.com

Wildlife

Just as the living conditions are ideal for human life and plants, they are also excellent for animal life and there is a decent variety of animals in Moldova, beginning with mammals. For much of history the country has been home to larger mammals like deer, boars, brown bears, and grey wolves, but few of these animals are present in large numbers today. Smaller mammals are much more common as badgers, beavers, squirrels, rabbits, otters, mink, and weasels are all common as are numerous rodents. Again, many of these smaller mammals are shrinking in numbers; much of the country was at one time forested and these small mammals found homes there, but as the trees were cleared for farm land in the 1800s many of these animal populations have decreased drastically.

The people have also introduced and bred some mammals to increase their numbers, including cattle and sheep. Today these mammals contribute to a substantial part of the Moldovan diet for both meat and dairy products. Pigs are also breed regularly today for their meat.

There are a number of rivers running through the landlocked country, but few large lakes and no direct access to a saltwater sea or ocean. Due to this environment, the sea life in Moldova is somewhat limited in scope; however these rivers and lakes are home to a number of freshwater fish. Perhaps the two most common fish in the rivers of Moldova are perch and pike. Although these fish are limited in numbers and in accessibility, the people near the rivers and lakes often fish and make these animals a part of their diet.

Located near the Black Sea, Moldova receives many migrating birds and, as a fertile land, encourages stop-overs or stays by many of these bird species. These birds include a large number of waterfowls and woodland birds. There are also a number of birds that are now bred as a food source, most notably chickens, who are also used for their egg production, but are not native to Moldova, although they arrived thousands of years ago.

The reptilian and amphibian life in Moldova is fairly limited compared to the mammalian or avian species, but both do exist in the country. Moldova is home to a limited number of snakes, frogs, and toads among others.

Learn More about Moldova's Wildlife:
-The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the Politics of Culture by Charles King. Hoover Institution Press. Stanford, CA U.S.A. 2000. (Buy Now)

This page was last updated: March, 2013