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The Fauna of the Eastern Rhodopes

Located at the crossroads of the European and Asian continent, influenced by the Central European and Mediterranean climate and harbouring diverse and pristine natural habitats, the Eastern Rhodopes are home for many animal species. No less than 4,329 species belonging to 410 fauna families, typical for continental Europe, the Mediterranean and Anatolia, occur in the region, including many rare, endemic and relict species. The actual number is probably higher due to low intensity monitoring of various fauna families. Most numerous and abundant are various insect groups of which the colourful butterflies and dragonflies perhaps are most adored and biting, stinging and poisonous spiders, scorpions, scolopendras, bees and wasps probably are most feared.

It is not possible to describe the East Rhodopian fauna in full length in this paragraph. Only some striking fauna groups are highlighted here.

Reptiles

The Eastern Rhodopes really are reptile paradise. No place in Europe has a better variety of lizards (12), snakes (14) and turtles&tortoises (4). The mosaic landscape with a large variety of habitats and hot summers have favored thirty species.

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Lizards can be met almost everywhere in the countryside. Most numerous are green lizards and wall lizards which even can be seen in village gardens. Ecologically most interesting are those species restricted to specific natural habitat types.

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Fish fauna

26 fish species have been identified in the water habitats  of the Eastern Rhodopes. Four small species of the carp family are endemic in the Balkan Peninsula: Chondrostoma  vardarense, Vimba melanops , Barbus cyclolepis and Sabanejewia balcanica (Balkan Spined Loach).

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Birds

Eastern Rhodopes are one of the richest, in terms of ornithological highlights in Europe. Because of its location on the edge of the European and Asian continent, the pristine landscape and the variety of habitats, the impact of the Mediterranean and the relatively weak human disturbance, the Eastern Rhodopes has become a favorite place for many bird species.

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Kardzhali town

   Kardzhali is a town in Southern Bulgaria and it is located in the valley of Arda river, which is the biggest river in the...

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Historical Sites

The Devil’s Bridge (Sheitan kyupryu)Location: Located on about 5 km north from Ardino near the village of Dyadovtsi.Description: Stone...

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