IBA criteria met: A4iv, B1iv, B2, B3, C5, C6 (2005)
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Area: 115,417 ha
Site description (baseline)
A rather low mountain in the south-easternmost part of the country, through which the Veleka and Resovska rivers flow. The mountain is covered by mature broadleaved forests and pastures. Natural forest of Fagus predominates, although Quercus is common in higher areas. Mediterranean grassland and shrubland are widespread. Alluvial forests occur mainly at the river-mouths and are dominated by Fraxinus, with dense Salix and Alnus. Temporarily flooded areas along the rivers are overgrown with aquatic vegetation. Land-uses are forestry, hunting and extensive cultivation and stock-rearing.
This is one of the most important breeding areas in the country for Ciconia nigra, for raptors such as Neophron percnopterus, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila pomarina, Aquila chrysaetos, Hieraaetus pennatus and Bubo bubo, and for forest species such as Picus canus, Dendrocopos medius and Ficedula semitorquata. The mountain is also a major migratory bottleneck site, where more than 33,000 Ciconia ciconia pass overhead each autumn. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Phalacrocorax pygmeus (common on passage), Pelecanus crispus (common on passage), Crex crex (occurs on passage).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Strandzha. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/434 on 10/06/2023.