Atanasovsko Lake

Country/territory: Bulgaria

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii, A4iv, B1i, B1iii, B1iv, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6 (2005)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 7,209 ha

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2007 very unfavourable low low
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2000 baseline)
A hyper-saline lake on the Black Sea coast, just north of the suburbs of the town of Burgas. Most of the lake is now a complex of evaporation saltpans, with smaller settling pools for salt-extraction. Smaller freshwater marshes, including a system of canals overgrown with marsh vegetation, surround the lake. The banks of the saltpans are covered by Salicornia, while the freshwater areas are fringed by beds of Typha and Phragmites. Most of the area is used for salt production, but traditional and non-intensive production methods continue to be used (`Other' land-use, below).

Key biodiversity
The lake is a very important staging, wintering and breeding area for migratory waterbirds, including globally threatened species such as Numenius tenuirostris, Pelecanus crispus, Branta ruficollis, Aythya nyroca and Aquila clanga. It is also a major migratory bottleneck site, where huge numbers of soaring raptors and waterbirds pass overhead in autumn. The commonest such species are as follows (minimum and maximum seasonal totals over the 1990-1996 period are given): Pelecanus onocrotalus (17,645-37,228), Ciconia nigra (2,781-4,574), Ciconia ciconia (80,592-204,423), Pernis apivorus (13,406-23,052), Buteo buteo (14,441-30,662), Aquila pomarina (9,009-25,796) and Falco vespertinus (438-3,110). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Anser erythropus (max. 1 in winter), Marmaronetta angustirostris (one winter record), Oxyura leucocephala (max. 10 in winter), Haliaeetus albicilla (max. 2 on passage), Circus macrourus (7-20 per season on passage), Aquila heliaca (2-4 on passage), Falco naumanni (max. 3 on passage), Crex crex (max. 3 pairs breeding). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Tadorna ferruginea.

Raptors MOU - IBA listed under Table 3 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Atanasovsko Lake. Downloaded from on 08/12/2023.