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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.

Tortoise species are represented by Hermann's tortoise and Greek tortoise. Both species are very similar, except the divided versus undivided tail carapace and Hermann's tail  which is considerably longer and ends in a horny ray.

Pond turtles inhabit stagnant and slowly streaming water and are represented by the widespread European Pond Turtle and the rare Western Caspian Тurtle (Balkan Terrapin), which occurs along the Byala Reka river.

The only one Gecko species that occurs in the Eastern Rhodopes is Kotschy’s Gecko. It prefers living in human settlements  and it can often be seen  at night in the village lights hunting for insects.

Rhodopean Shorthorn cattle

Rhodopean Shorthorn cattle are the breed with the least specimens in Bulgaria. It’s a primitive form of Bos Taurus Brachyceros, left...

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Chernata Skala (the Black Rock)

The Chernata Skala protected site has an area of 893.70 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-473 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the...

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