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Location Bulgaria, Sofia
Central coordinates 23o 10.38' East  43o 3.77' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, C1, C6
Area 31,380 ha
Altitude 389 - 1,598m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Meadows dominated by Festuca, Agrostis and Cynosurus grasses in western Bulgaria, and surrounded by broadleaved deciduous forests of Fagus and Carpinus, rocky cliffs and arable land. Human activities include grazing and haymaking in the meadows, forestry and hunting.

Key Biodiversity The area is important for breeding Crex crex. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Buteo rufinus (2 pairs), Bubo bubo (1 pair).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix breeding  1998  250-300 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  2005  4-5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  2004  100-130 breeding pairs  medium  A1, C1, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo resident  2002  10-12 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Picus canus resident  1998  20-30 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Not Recognised 
Picus viridis resident  1998  100-120 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Not Recognised 
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio breeding  1998  1,000-1,500 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria breeding  1998  200-300 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis breeding  1998  10-20 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Iskarski prolom - Rzhana - BG0001042 Habitats Directive 22,693 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Ponor - BG0002005 Birds Directive 31,380 is identical to site 31,380  
Vrachanski Balkan - BG0002053 Birds Directive 30,880 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Zapadna Stara Planina i Predbalkan - BG0001040 Habitats Directive 219,716 protected area contains site 31,380  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  5%
Grassland Humid grasslands; Mesophile grasslands  92%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  3%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 92%
forestry 5%
hunting 100%

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ponor. Downloaded from on 02/03/2015

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