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Location Bulgaria, Haskovo,Lovech,Plovdiv,Sofia
Central coordinates 24o 58.03' East  42o 43.03' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B2, B3, C1, C6
Area 166,678 ha
Altitude 373 - 2,376m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The northern and southern slopes of the highest, central part of the Stara Planina mountains. The limestone karst topography is outstanding, with ancient forests, pastures, subalpine scrub and grasslands. Deciduous forests (up to 250 years old) of Carpinus, Quercus, Ostrya and Fagus occur in the higher parts of the area, mixed with Pinus and with Abies. Coniferous forests are dominated by Picea and Pinus, and subalpine scrub by Juniperus and Vaccinium. Human activities (outside the strict reserves) include tourism, and cattle-grazing in the high mountain grasslands.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia resident  1998  180-300 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca resident  1998  160-240 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  1998  3 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Endangered 
Falco peregrinus breeding  1998  6-7 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Not Recognised 
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus resident  1996  40-50 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1998  10-12 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca resident  1996  1-2 breeding pairs  good  A1, C1, C6  Vulnerable 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1998  25-70 breeding pairs  good  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Ural Owl Strix uralensis breeding  1998  15-25 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Pygmy-owl Glaucidium passerinum resident  1998  10-20 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus resident  1998  20-35 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  1998  220-450 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Dendrocopos leucotos resident  1998  130-150 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Not Recognised 
Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius resident  1998  110-130 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus non-breeding  1996  500 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus resident  1996  6,000-7,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla breeding  1996  25,000-40,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Goldcrest Regulus regulus breeding  1996  6,500-9,000 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1996  10-15 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula resident  1998  25,000-33,000 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos breeding  1996  14,000-16,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus breeding  1998  5,000-7,000 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris winter  1996  2,000-3,000 individuals  good  B3  Least Concern 
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus breeding  1996  3,400-4,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
European Robin Erithacus rubecula resident  1996  55,000-65,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva breeding  1998  550-600 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus breeding  1996  200-300 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis breeding  1996  20 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata breeding  1998  140-280 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C6  Near Threatened 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris breeding  1998  600-800 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs resident  1998  135,000-180,000 breeding pairs  medium  B3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Boatin Buffer Zone 942 protected area contained by site 942  
Boatin Reserve 1,597 protected area contained by site 1,597  
Boitine UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 1,598 protected area contained by site 1,597  
Bulgarka - BG0000399 Habitats Directive 23,997 protected area contained by site 23,997  
Centralen Balkan National Park 71,670 is identical to site 71,670  
Djendema Buffer Zone 2,117 protected area contained by site 2,117  
Djendema Strict Nature Reserve 4,220 protected area contained by site 4,220  
Kozya Stena Buffer Zone 114 protected area contained by site 114  
Kozya Stena Reserve 904 protected area contained by site 904  
Parc national Steneto UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 3,579 protected area contained by site 3,579  
Peeshti Skali Reserve 1,466 protected area contained by site 1,466  
Réserve Djendema UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 4,220 protected area contained by site 1,775  
Réserve Tsaritchina UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 3,419 protected area contained by site 3,419  
Severen Djendem Buffer Zone 213 protected area contained by site 213  
Severen Djendem Strict Nature Reserve 1,610 protected area contained by site 1,610  
Sokolna Buffer Zone 169 protected area contained by site 169  
Sokolna Strict Nature Reserve 1,250 protected area contained by site 1,250  
Sredna gora - BG0001389 Habitats Directive 105,083 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Stara reka Buffer Zone 131 protected area contained by site 131  
Stara reka Strict Nature Reserve 1,975 protected area contained by site 1,975  
Steneto Buffer Zone 233 protected area contained by site 233  
Steneto Strict Nature Reserve 3,579 protected area contained by site 3,579  
Tsarichina Strict Nature Reserve 3,419 protected area contained by site 3,419  
Tsaritchina Buffer Zone 1,062 protected area contained by site 1,062  
Tzentralen Balkan - BG0000494 Birds Directive 71,670 protected area contained by site 71,670  
Tzentralen Balkan - buffer - BG0001493 Habitats Directive 129,409 protected area overlaps with site 67,002  
Yazovir Koprinka - BG0000261 Habitats Directive 876 protected area is adjacent to site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Native coniferous woodland  45%
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis; Scrub  21%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Dry siliceous grassland; Humid grasslands; Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  25%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  1%
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards and groves  1%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 43%
tourism/recreation 72%
forestry 20%

Protection status National High International Partial73,262 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Central Balkan, 73,262 ha). 1,597 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Boatin, 1,597 ha). 4,220 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Djendema, 4,220 ha). 904 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kozya Stena, 904 ha). 1,466 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Peeshti Skali, 1,466 ha). 1,610 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Severen Djendem, 1,610 ha). 1,250 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Sokolna, 1,250 ha). 1,975 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Stara reka, 1,975 ha). 3,579 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Steneto, 3,579 ha). 3,419 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Tsaritchina, 3,419 ha). 942 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Boatin, 942 ha). 2,117 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Djendema, 2,117 ha). 114 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Kozya Stena, 114 ha). 213 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Severen Djendem, 213 ha). 169 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Sokolna, 169 ha). 131 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Stara reka, 131 ha). 233 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Steneto, 233 ha). 1,062 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Tsaritchina, 1,062 ha). 1,597 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Boatin, 1,597 ha). 1,775 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Djendema, 1,775 ha). 3,579 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Steneto, 3,579 ha). 3,419 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Tsaritchina, 3,419 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Central Balkan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/08/2014

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