Bulgarian World Heritage: Srebarna Nature Reserve

The Srebarna Nature Reserve protects a freshwater lake adjacent to the Danube and a wetland ecosystem that makes it a part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

The reserve is the breeding ground of many rare or endangered bird species including the Dalmatian pelican, Little Bittern Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, White Spoonbill and Ruddy Shelduck.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

It is the breeding ground of almost 100 species of birds and 80 other species migrate and seek refuge there in the winter.

The globally threatened Pygmy Cormorant and Red-breasted Goose winter in there as well as populations of White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose and Fieldfare.

The rich bird life supported by Srebarna Nature Reserve is the basis for its international significance holding populations that are considered critical to species survival.

Three species of terns also in Srebarna Nature Reserve and It hosts the largest breeding populations of four more globally threatened species: Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed Eagle and Corncrake.

It also shelters a diversity of plants and other animal species.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

The reserve extends over 600 ha. and includes the lake, the former agricultural lands north of it, a belt of forest plantations along the Danube, the island of Komluka and the aquatic area locked between the island and the riverbank.

It is surrounded by hills which provide a natural boundary and offer an ideal means for observing the waterfowl.

The lake is the largest one left after the drainage of the marshy zone along the Danube but it is now maintained by water management measures and its current situation is not completely natural.

In 1994 a channel was constructed between the lake and the Danube river in order to ensure the annual flow of Danube waters into the lake during the spring months.

The Reserve is a relatively small and strictly protected area, and only carefully-controlled scientific research, and conservation management activities are allowed to take place within it.


Photo: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

There are some neighbouring areas that are also protected because otherwise some of the bird species wouldn’t survive.

From 2008 Srebarna Nature Reserve is protected my 673 ha buffer zone to prevent and reduce negative human impacts.

It falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Eater for the Bulgarian town Russe.

Srebarna Lake is also protected as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Key requirements for the lake are to maintain and restore its water system to a state that is as natural as possible and strict control of human use and illegal fishing are also required.


Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0
Photos: © Vincent Ko Hon Chiu

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