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Location Bulgaria, Rousse
Central coordinates 25o 40.17' East  43o 40.53' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 2,738 ha
Altitude 20 - 151m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Fish-ponds overgrown with reeds, situated close to the bank of the River Danube. The aquatic vegetation is dominated by Phragmites, Trapa, Nymphaea, as well as by Typha in some places. In the western part of the ponds there is a seasonally flooded forest of Fraxinus, Tilia, Ulmus and Acer, as well as a small river fully overgrown with shrubs, acacia and grass. The ponds are surrounded by dry hills overgrown with acacia and steppe-like vegetation. Human activities includes fishery, reed-cutting (`Other' land-use, below), and hunting.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1996  10-30 breeding pairs  good  A1, C1, C6  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1996  100-3,000 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Near Threatened 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1996  15-50 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1997  12-43 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1996  10-43 individuals  good  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus passage  1996  1,400 individuals  medium  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1996  40-1,400 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Baillon's Crake Zapornia pusilla breeding  1996  1 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1996  110-200 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  1996  5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Batin - BG0000232 Habitats Directive 2,691 protected area overlaps with site 2,513  
Mechka Fish-ponds - BG0002024 Birds Directive 2,738 is identical to site 2,738  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland  14%
Grassland Humid grasslands  6%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  70%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  10%
Artificial - aquatic   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 60%
hunting 70%
agriculture 16%
other 30%

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mechka Fish-ponds. Downloaded from on 01/11/2014

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