Posted on May 19, 2014
BG0002082 – Special Protected Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC and the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC
Batova protected area is located north of Varna and covers the valley of the Batova river and most of Frangensko plateau, including the coastline of Albena and Golden Sands and its adjacent marine area.
Part of it is Baltata Reserve, covering the Batova river mouth and preserving the natural riverine forest and marsh habitats. The area provides habitats for 184 bird species, 70 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The site’s most outstanding feature is its location on the Western Black Sea migration flyway, the Via Pontica, where three flows of migratory birds coming from Dobrudja meet over the valley of the Batova. The most concentrated flow of migrating storks and pelicans in northeastern Bulgaria passes through, and due to its importance for over 30 species of migratory soaring birds Batova is defined as a “bottleneck” migration place of global importance.
In winter Batova supports large abundances of waterfowl, mostly White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), which roost in the sea and every day fly over the area to feed on agricultural land. Batova is one of the most valuable sites in the country and Europe for the breeding Middle-spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) and Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata).
The problems we address:
Urbanization associated with large-scale tourism and the expansion of settlements leads to fragmentation and destruction of habitats, mainly in the coastal zone. Aquatic habitats associated with the Batova and particularly those in the dense forest of Balata Reserve, are strongly influenced by human activities. The water balance of the riverine forest is disturbed, and this is a major threat to its functioning as an ecosystem. There is no management plan for the protected area and the managementplan for Balata Reserve, which is a part of the SPA, needs to be updated.