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Location Bulgaria, Haskovo
Central coordinates 25o 31.92' East  41o 37.50' North
IBA criteria A3, B2, C6
Area 15,996 ha
Altitude 159 - 867m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A dam in a rocky gorge of the Arda river, east of the town of Kardjali. The numerous rocky cliffs and banks are covered by sub-Mediterranean vegetation, mainly forests of Quercus with Carpinus, Fraxinus and Mediterranean tree species. Juniperus, Jasminum and Paliurus are predominant in the sclerophyllous shrubland. Dichantium and Poa predominate in the grasslands. Human activities include hunting, forestry, fishing, and extensive rearing of sheep and cattle.

Key Biodiversity The site is important for its assemblage of Mediterranean-restricted species, and for its high numbers of breeding Ciconia nigra, Neophron percnopterus (the best site in Bulgaria) and Bubo bubo. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus (1-2 pairs), Falco naumanni (3-5 pairs). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Circaetus gallicus (1-3 pairs), Aquila pomarina, Hieraaetus pennatus (1 pair).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  1996  30 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1996  3-5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus resident  1996  1-2 breeding pairs  good  C6  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1996  14-16 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  1996  5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Endangered 
Burhinus oedicnemus breeding  1998  8 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo resident  1998  5-10 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus breeding  1996  5 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum breeding  1998  9-43 breeding pairs  good  A3, C6  Least Concern 
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala resident  1996  20 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans breeding  1996  30 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Western Rock-nuthatch Sitta neumayer resident  1996  10 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius resident  1996  5-6 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala breeding  1996  5-15 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Valchi dol Strict Nature Reserve 775 protected area contained by site 775  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  57%
Shrubland Heathland; Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  12%
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  7%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  14%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  6%
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards and groves  4%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 56%
hunting 60%
agriculture 11%
fisheries/aquaculture 14%
water management 12%

Protection status National Low International None775 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Valchi Dol, 775 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Studen Kladenets. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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