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Crossbill Guides Team is Working on Guidebook of the Eastern Rhodopes

The European Crossbill Guides Foundation works on a guidebook of the Eastern Rhodopes. Crossbill guides (in English only) and are very popular among ecotourists and naturalists.

Currently, a seven member team of the Crossbill Guides is in the Bulgarian part of the Rhodopes after they have visited Greece. We have a great time and discover many interesting species of animals and plants on the selected routes, Albert Vliegenthart form Crossbill Guides team says.

The Eastern Rhodopes are among the regions in Europe with the richest biodiversity in Europe and that attracted the Crossbill Guides team who makes guidebooks on the most interesting places of our continent. The Bulgarian part offers different habitats and a large biodiversity which is hard to find elsewhere. The discovery of the Bulgarian Emerald (Somatochlora borisii) in 1999 proves that this is an unique area in Europe, Vliegenthart adds.

The Crossbill Guidebook on the Eastern Rhodopes covers the territory from the Aegean coast to the Arda river and from Zlatograd to the Evros river. It describes the forests, cliffs, scrubland, rivers and streams, dry grasslands etc. The team investigates all characteristic species that are related to these ecosystems. The guidebook gives detailed information on finding the most interesting flora and fauna, but doesn’t point out the exact locations of the vulnerable species. The book describes hiking and car routes that enclose all described habitats where these species occur.

Ecotourism in Bulgaria is becoming more popular and the number of tourists visited in the past ten years the Eastern Rhodopes for watching birds or search for butterflies and plants has increased enormously. The guidebook offers those people more insight and knowledge of the landscape and its biodiversity. It is a perfect book for everybody who loves nature, Albert Vliegenthart says.

The Crossbill guidebook to the Eastern Rhodopes will be on the market in 2013. It will be sold in book stores in Northwest Europe with emphasis on the Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain and distributed via internet all over the world.

The Eastern Rhodopes guidebook will be the twelfth book of Crossbill Guidess. So far, there are guidebooks published on regions in Spain, Poland, France, Finland and Hungary.

Given the experience with guidebooks on other areas do they expect the Eastern Rhodopes book to increase the number of tourists visiting the region? It is hard to pin any number on the increase of visitors coming specially from the book since there are many other initiatives that attract ecotourists to the area (New Thracian Gold, Madzharovo Vulture Centre, the work of foreign organizations like ARK and RSPB/BSPB). The Crossbill Guide will certainly be a valuable addition to their work. Some twenty years ago Spain was completely unknown, now tens of thousands ecotourists visits this country every year. We think that Bulgaria will be the new Spain, Albert Vliegenthart from the Crossbill Guides team concludes.

The Crossbill guide on the Eastern Rhodopes is supported by New Thracian Gold project.

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