BG011
Central Balkan


Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The northern and southern slopes of the highest, central part of the Stara Planina mountains. The limestone karst topography is outstanding, with ancient forests, pastures, subalpine scrub and grasslands. Deciduous forests (up to 250 years old) of Carpinus, Quercus, Ostrya and Fagus occur in the higher parts of the area, mixed with Pinus and with Abies. Coniferous forests are dominated by Picea and Pinus, and subalpine scrub by Juniperus and Vaccinium. Human activities (outside the strict reserves) include tourism, and cattle-grazing in the high mountain grasslands.



Key biodiversity
This IBA is important for its alpine-restricted species, including two subspecies that are endemic to the Balkans (Prunella collaris subalpinum and Eremophila alpestris balcanica), and for its large numbers of a wide variety of other breeding species, especially raptors such as Aquila heliaca, A. chrysaetos and Falco cherrug. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Circaetus gallicus (1-2 pairs), Aquila pomarina (1 pair), Dendrocopos medius (7-8 pairs).



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Currently there are no serious problems in the area, although the new Protected Area Law may change the status of some protected areas. The IBA is designated as a National Park, and incorporates nine strict reserves and four Biosphere Reserves. There is a management plan for the area, prepared by the Ministry of Environment under the Bulgarian-Swiss Biodiversity Conservation Programme.



Protected areas
National High International Partial73,262 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Central Balkan, 73,262 ha). 1,597 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Boatin, 1,597 ha). 4,220 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Djendema, 4,220 ha). 904 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kozya Stena, 904 ha). 1,466 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Peeshti Skali, 1,466 ha). 1,610 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Severen Djendem, 1,610 ha). 1,250 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Sokolna, 1,250 ha). 1,975 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Stara reka, 1,975 ha). 3,579 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Steneto, 3,579 ha). 3,419 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Tsaritchina, 3,419 ha). 942 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Boatin, 942 ha). 2,117 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Djendema, 2,117 ha). 114 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Kozya Stena, 114 ha). 213 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Severen Djendem, 213 ha). 169 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Sokolna, 169 ha). 131 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Stara reka, 131 ha). 233 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Steneto, 233 ha). 1,062 ha of IBA covered by Buffer Zone (Tsaritchina, 1,062 ha). 1,597 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Boatin, 1,597 ha). 1,775 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Djendema, 1,775 ha). 3,579 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Steneto, 3,579 ha). 3,419 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Tsaritchina, 3,419 ha).




Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Central Balkan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/08/2022.