Moldova is a hilly plains country and most of it is less than 400 meters above sea level. Codru (“the forest”) is located in the central part of the country. It is intersected by partly deep valleys. The highest point in the country lies west of this area of Bălăneşti (429 meters above sea level). Further north there is a lower plateau with the wide, undulating Bălţiste (about 150-200 meters above sea level). All the way to the north, the country rises to about 300 meters above sea level. In the south it slopes down towards the Bugeac steppe, which is broken by a number of valleys and canyons.
Three-quarters of the country has very fertile black soil. The soil in the south is somewhat worse. The extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in recent decades has made the deterioration of the quality of the soil one of the country’s biggest ecological problems.
Deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes have contributed to erosion and landslides being an increasing problem. The bedrock consists mostly of sedimentary rocks, but in the north magmatic rocks emerge.
Moldova has a large number of rivers and streams, many of them short, most of which flow into Dnestr (Nistru) or Prut, a few to the south in the Danube estuary in Ukraine. Much of the country’s water supply comes from groundwater.
Moldova’s climate and large areas of fertile black soil provide good conditions for agriculture.
The climate in Moldova is relatively mild in winter and warm in summer. The average annual temperature is 8-10 °C. The average temperature in January is -5 °C in the north and -3 °C in the south. In July, the average temperature is 19 °C in the north and 23 °C in the south. Highest measured temperature is 41 °C, lowest -36 °C.
Moldova receives an average of 370-520 millimeters of rainfall per year. But there are large variations from year to year, so the country has been hit several times by long periods of drought. The majority of the rain comes in the summer, often in the form of heavy rains that contribute to erosion.
Wildlife in Moldova
The mammalian fauna in Moldova of 70 species has great similarities to Romania. Larger mammals include wild boar, deer, deer, fox and wolf. European Hare, many rodent species and weasel ( badger, otter, marten, husmår, ferret and others).
281 bird species are registered, 175 nest. These include 8 woodpecker and 25 birds of prey, including sea eagles, king eagles, small scream eagles, snake eagles and tartar falcons. At least 25 species of lice and sniper occur, most during spring.
14 reptile species, 14 amphibian species and 82 freshwater fish species. At least 15,000 invertebrates have been registered.
Plant life in Moldova
Only 13% of the area in Moldova is wooded, most of it in the central and northern part of the country. The most important tree species are oak species, bark beech, lime, maple and beech. There are also wild pear and cherry trees. The steppes were originally grassy, but are now mostly cultivated.