Posted on May 19, 2014

BG0000191 – Special Protected Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC and the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC.

The Varna-Beloslav Lake Complex includes two lakes – Varna and Beloslav – located west of Varna and connected by an artificial canal. Varna Lake is a coastal firth lake of natural origin.

The site is an important area of international importance for wintering waterfowl. Annually, over 20,000 waterbirds of 64 species concentrate there. 201 bird species have been recorded in the complex, 79 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The Varna – Beloslav Lake Complex is the only wetland between the Shabla and Durankulak lakes to the north and the Burgas lakes to the south, which are 200 km apart. Therefore, it is of great value during migration, and for the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) it is a “bottleneck” migration site. During this period and in winter the complex is of global importance for the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus). Because they do not freeze in winter, the lakes are preferred wintering place for different species of ducks, cormorants and other waterfowl. Except the Pygmy Cormorant, internationally significant concentrations are formed by the Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) too. Globally threatened species, such as the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) and White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), occur during migration and in winter.

The problems we address:

Varna – Beloslav Lake is located near the third largest city in Bulgaria – Varna, which is a major tourist and industrial center. The sedimentation ponds of Devnya chemical plant are situated in the western part of the lake complex, and Varna electric power plant is in its northern part. Much of the heavy industry in the area of the city is concentrated along the borders of the zone.

Industrial development and urbanization are factors that have led to the loss of habitat and overall environmental change of wetland conditions and continue to be a major threatening factor. On the other hand, there is no management plan for the protected area to regulate the sustainable use of resources and to ensure its protection.

Viktor Vasilev_Ferruginous DucksIMG_0159IMG_0156IMG_0131IMG_0014Pygmy Cormorant_Yatata by Chavdar Nikolov

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