A dam in a rocky gorge of the Arda river, east of the town of Kardjali. The numerous rocky cliffs and banks are covered by sub-Mediterranean vegetation, mainly forests of Quercus with Carpinus, Fraxinus and Mediterranean tree species. Juniperus, Jasminum and Paliurus are predominant in the sclerophyllous shrubland. Dichantium and Poa predominate in the grasslands. Human activities include hunting, forestry, fishing, and extensive rearing of sheep and cattle.
The site is important for its assemblage of Mediterranean-restricted species, and for its high numbers of breeding Ciconia nigra, Neophron percnopterus (the best site in Bulgaria) and Bubo bubo. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus (1-2 pairs), Falco naumanni (3-5 pairs). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Circaetus gallicus (1-3 pairs), Aquila pomarina, Hieraaetus pennatus (1 pair).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Studen Kladenets. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/02/2023.