||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Pannonian steppe. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2012.|
Puszta (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈpustɒ]) is a grassland biome on the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld) around the River Tisza in the eastern part of Hungary as well as on the western part of Hungary and in the Austrian Burgenland. The Hungarian puszta is an exclave of the Eurasian Steppe.
It covers a total area of ca. 50,000 km2 (20,000 sq.mi). The characteristic landscape is composed of treeless plains, saline steppes and salt lakes, and includes scattered sand dunes, low, wet forests and freshwater marshes along the floodplains of the ancient rivers.
The word means "plains", a vast wilderness of grass and bushes. The name comes from an adjective of the same form, meaning "waste, barren, bare". Puszta is ultimately a Slavic loanword in Hungarian (compare Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian pust and Polish pusty, both meaning bare or empty).
The climate is continental. Landscape is widely cultivated, the original Puszta landscape now being found only in a few places, for example in Hortobágy National Park.
300 species of birds are found here.
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