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Location Bulgaria, Haskovo
Central coordinates 26o 11.13' East  42o 15.88' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, C1, C2, C3, C4
Area 4,304 ha
Altitude 139 - 225m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A dam on the Ovtcharitza river, surrounded by low hills with arable land (mainly winter wheat). The reservoir is used for cooling an electric power-station at the site (`Other' land-use, below), and therefore the water does not freeze in winter. Human activities include hunting, fishing and irrigation.

Key Biodiversity Important in winter for fish-eating birds (Phalacrocorax spp., Pelecanus crispus) and for Anser albifrons. The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  1997  200-34,755 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  2001  168 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1997  8-211 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  2001  677 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1997  6,635-8,020 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Larus cachinnans winter  1992  1,400 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1997  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  3%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  81%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  11%
Unknown   5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
fisheries/aquaculture 80%
hunting 100%
urban/industrial/transport 5%
other 80%

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ovtcharitsa Reservoir. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife