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Natura 2000 site Krumovitza


Surface – 11 183 hectares.

The area includes the valleys in the middle course of the Krumovitsa River and its tributary Djushun Dere with the adjacent hills and slopes of the Eastern Rhodopes. It covers the sections of the Krumovitsa between the village of Gorna Kula and the mouth of the Djushun Dere, from where it reaches the grounds of the village of Chal to the east. The Krumovitsa river valley in this region is between 300 and 1000 m wide, at places occupied entirely by the sandy riverbed itself. It is mixed with shrub vegetation of Blackberry Rubus spp., Dog Rose Rosa spp., etc. At many places shrubs, mainly of Tamarix spp., and grasses grow in the riverbed itself. The Krumovitsa banks are often steep, covered with low rocks. Its valley is occupied by farmland patches. The Djushun Dere river valley is mostly narrow and cuts deeply in volcanic rocks with very steep cliffs along the riverbed, waterfalls and small caves. The vegetation along its banks is scarce and dominated by shrub species. Both rivers have a strongly fluctuating water level – very high in February–March and almost none in July–August (except in isolated pools). Most of the area includes low-mountain ridges and slopes. Its bigger part is treeless but the most south-eastern regions are covered by old broadleaved forest of Quercus frainetto, Quercus dalechampii, at places mixed with Carpinus orientalis. Secondary forests have replaced the old ones that have been cut in the recent decades. Typical for the slopes and ridges of the two valleys are the numerous rocks, rock complexes and crests, along with the extensive areas covered by shrub formations of Mediterranean type, dominated by Juniperus oxycedrus, etc. There are many stony sections, overgrown with grass vegetation.

The Natura 2000 site Krumovitsa supports 136 bird species. Sixty four species are of European conservation concern (SPEC), 2 of them being included in category SPEC 1 as globally threatened, 18 in SPEC 2 and 44 in SPEC 3 as species threatened in Europe. The area is of global importance, as it is a representative biome for the Mediterranean zone. Seven biome-restricted species, typical for the Mediterranean zone out of 9 established in Bulgaria, occur there: Black-eared Wheatear, Olive-tree Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Black-headed Bunting. Krumovitsa is one of the few places in Bulgaria where the Black Vulture still can be observed. Krumovitsa provides suitable habitats for 46 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures. Thirty-eight of them are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive and more than half of them breed in the region in significant populations. The region of the Krumovitsa is one of the most important sites in the country on a European Union scale for the breeding Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture, Booted eagle and Olive-tree Warbler.

Only two small natural monuments are designated for protection of landscapes. In 1997 the area was designated as Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. About 10% of Krumovitsa overlaps with the Arda Valley CORINE Site, which was designated in 1998 because of its European value for habitats, rare and threatened plant and animal species, including birds. The whole IBA was approved as SPA under Bird Directive.

One of the potential threats both to the habitats and to the birds in the area is the development of wind turbine farms.


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