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Natura 2000 network

Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature & biodiversity policy. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).

Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves where all human activities are excluded. Whereas the network will certainly include nature reserves most of the land is likely to continue to be privately owned and the emphasis will be on ensuring that future management is sustainable, both ecologically and economically. In the Eastern Rhodopes there are 9 Natura 2000 sites with a total of 233 347 hectares. Which means that 56% of Bulgarian part of the Eastern Rhodope territory is under EU protection.

 

Natura 2000 sites according the Bird Directive  

Following sites are under EU protection according to the Bird Directive. More information of each area can be found in the link. This information comes from the texts for IBAs from IBA book of BSPB (reference details)

 

Natura 2000 site Krumovitza BG0002012 

Surface – 11 183 hectares.

The area includes the valleys in the middle course of the Krumovitsa River and its tributary Djushun Dere with the adjacent hills and slopes of the Eastern Rhodopes. It covers the sections of the Krumovitsa between the village of Gorna Kula and the mouth of the Djushun Dere, from where it reaches the grounds of the village of Chal to the east. The Krumovitsa river valley in this region is between 300 and 1000 m wide, at places occupied entirely by the sandy riverbed itself. It is mixed with shrub vegetation of Blackberry Rubus spp., Dog Rose Rosa spp., etc. At many places shrubs, mainly of Tamarix spp., and grasses grow in the riverbed itself.

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Natura 2000 site Studen Kladenets BG0002013 

Surface – 15 995 hectares.

A water reservoir established in the rocky defile of the Arda River, with vertical cliffs, steep banks covered by scant vegetation and the adjacent maintain hills. It is located between the town of Kardzhali and the village of Studen Kladenets. About 2/3 of the mountain slopes surrounding the reservoir are covered by secondary broadleaved mixed forests of Carpinus orientalis, Fraxinus ornus, Quercus frainetto or Quercus dalechampii with Mediterranean elements. Pure forests of Quercus dalechampii or such mixed with Carpinus betulus occur more rarely.

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Natura 2000 site Madzharovo BG0002014 

Surface – 3 550 hectares.

A part of the deep, narrow valley of the Arda river, surrounded by mountain slopes and rock massifs up to 150 m high. The area is located between the village of Borislavtsi and the town of Madzharovo. A big part of its territory is occupied by rock complexes, single cliffs and stony screes. The diverse relief and soil cover determine the development of a mosaic of tree, shrub and grass vegetation. At places the screes are covered by mixed broadleaved forests of Quercus cerris, Quercus frainetto and Quercus pubescens, with Mediterranean elements, like Juniperus oxycedrus, Colutea arborescens, etc.

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Natura 2000 site Byala Reka BG0002019 

Surface – 44 627 hectares.

The area covers the Byala Reka watershed in the most south-eastern part of the Eastern Rhodopes, immediately next to the state border with Greece. It includes the Byala Reka valley and the surrounding mountain hills from the village of Chernichevo on the west to the spot where the river crosses the state border to the east. The region’s vegetation is quite diverse and heavily influenced by the Mediterranean climate. Because of the region’s low population density and border regime old forests of Mixed oak forests of Q. dalechampii, Q. virgiliana, Q. frainetto and Q. pubescens, interspersed at places with Carpinus orientalis, are also widely distributed.

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Natura 2000 site Arda Bridge BG0002071 

Surface – 15 022 hectares

The site covers the Arda river course from the village of Rabovo to the town of Madzharovo and the northern parts of Iranov Ridge. To the north it borders on the villages of Madzhari, Voyvodets, Dolno Pole, Rumelia and Gorno Pole; to the west – on the villages of Pchelari, Golobradovo, Rabovo, Potochnitsa and Stari Chal. Its southern border passes through Krasino, Sbor and Bubino and its eastern one lies between Bubino, Chernichino and Madzharovo. The area is a part of the Arda river valley between the reservoirs of Studen Kladenets and Ivailovgrad and is surrounded by forested mountain slopes and rock massifs.

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Natura 2000 site Ivailovgrad Reservoir BG0002106 

Surface – 19 662 hectares.

The site covers almost the entire water body of Ivailovgrad reservoir on the Arda river and the adjacent mountain slopes from the villages of Borislavtsi and Senoclass on the west to the state border on the east and from the villages of Malki Voden and Dabovets on the north to Pokrovan, Huhla, Ivailovgrad and Slaveevo on the south. Ivailovgrad dam is located in the narrow valley of the Arda. The bigger part of the area is covered by xerothermal shrub and xero-mesophyte grass formations, interspersed with single vertical rocks and cliff walls.

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Natura 2000 site Harmanliyska Reka BG0002092 

Surface – 4 889 hectares.

Harmanliyska Reka covers a hilly area along the lower stream of the Harmanliyska river west from the town of Harmanli. To the north it borders to the main road E80, and to the west the site limit goes through the villages of Bryagovo and Ropdopi. The site`s limits reach the village of Ostar kamak to the south. In this part of its course the river forms a deep rocky gorge with vertical cliffs, surrounded by pastures, broadleaved forests and shrubs. The forests composed mainly of oak Quercus cerris and oriental hornbeam Carpinus orientalis with the participation of Mediterranean elements.

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Reserves

Valchi Dol reserve The Valchi Dol reserve is the only strict reserve in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is located in the territory of the...

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Perperikon - Archaeological complex

Location: The complex is located 20 km northeast of Kardzhali, 2 km from the village of Gorna Krepost. It is entirely carved into the...

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