|Central coordinates||25o 11.27' East 43o 40.35' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C6|
|Altitude||21 - 69m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Ornithological information Formerly one of the most important breeding sites in the country for Phalacrocorax pygmeus (max. 40 pairs) and Plegadis falcinellus (max. 60 pairs), which stopped breeding on the island about 10 years ago. They would probably breed again if water-levels were restored, but such site-management depends on finding the necessary funding. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaetus albicilla (1 pair). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Platalea leucorodia (rare).
Site description The eastern part of the largest Bulgarian island (Belene) along the River Danube. Three large marshes, with open-water areas partly covered by floating water-plants and fringed by reedbeds of Phragmites, Sparganium and Alisma, and which are surrounded by seasonally flooded forest (Salix, Populus) and wet meadows (Cynodon, Scirpus). There are two smaller islands (one called Kitka), also covered with flooded forest. The complex lies between kilometres 576 and 560 of the Danube. Human activities include cattle-grazing in the buffer zone of the Persinski marshes reserve, agriculture in surrounding areas and hunting (including international hunting tourism).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greylag Goose Anser anser||passage||1999||428 individuals||good||B1i, C3||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||breeding||2004||10 breeding pairs||medium||C6||Near Threatened|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||breeding||1996||60 breeding pairs||good||B2, C6||Least Concern|
|Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides||breeding||1998||58 breeding pairs||good||B2, C6||Least Concern|
|Purple Heron Ardea purpurea||breeding||1997||10 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus||breeding||1996||40 breeding pairs||good||A1, C1, C6||Least Concern|
|Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus||passage||2003||238 individuals||good||A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla||resident||1996||1 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida||breeding||1996||40 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Belene Islands Complex||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||6,898||protected area contains site||1,714|
|Belene Islands Complex - BG0002017||Birds Directive||6,897||is identical to site||6,897|
|Kitka Island||Reserve||25||protected area contained by site||25|
|Persina||Nature Park||21,762||protected area contains site||1,714|
|Persina - BG0000396||Habitats Directive||22,405||protected area overlaps with site||5,306|
|Persina Iztok||National Monument||719||protected area contained by site||719|
|Persinski Marshes||Managed Reserve||385||protected area contained by site||385|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Alluvial and very wet forest||60%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Standing freshwater||5%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Management considerations The main problems are the lowered water-levels in the Danube and the subsequent drying-out of wetlands, resulting from the `Iron Gate' Dam in Serbia and from dykes built along the banks of Belene. Special measures are needed to restore water-levels. Illegal tree-cutting, grazing and hunting are also problems, as is the potential construction of a nuclear power-station near Belene.
Protection status National Partial International None25 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kitka Island, 25 ha). 385 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Persinski marshes, 385 ha). 719 ha of IBA covered by National Monument (Persina Iztok, 719 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Belene Islands Complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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