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Valchi Dol reserve

The Valchi Dol reserve is the only strict reserve in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is located in the territory of the Krumovgrad Municipality, in the land of the village of Boynik, and covers an area of 774.70 ha. It secures the preservation of one of the wildest and most pristine parts of the Eastern Rhodopes. There are various habitats here – rocks, pastures, shrubbery and deciduous forests. 14 plant and 16 animal species, included in Bulgaria’s Red Book, can be found here. The reserve is inhabited by the Otter (Lutra lutra), the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and Tortoises, all of them included in the World Red List.

The Valchi Dol reserve is distinguished by an exceptional variety of birds of prey. A total of 23 species have been confirmed, of which 21 are included in Bulgaria’s Red Book. The Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), the Eagle own (Bubo bubo), the Western Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer), the Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) and the Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus) can be watched here.

The reserve’s area is an important place for the Black Vulture and the Imperial eagle, both threatened with extinction worldwide, to find food and rest in. The Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) is included in IUCN’s World Red List and the national Red Book. In Bulgaria, it can only be found in the Eastern Rhodopes.

Valchi Dol is an important place for the species to feed and rest in. The Imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) is among the rarest birds in Europe and is included in IUCN’s World Red List and in Bulgaria’s Red Book. Of the reptiles and amphibians, 21 species have been confirmed, and in the reservation we can find the European legless lizard (Ophisaurus apodus), the Dahl's Whip Snake (Platyceps najadum), the Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima), the European blind snake (Typhlops vermicularis), and the Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus). Of the large mammals, the wolf (Canis lupus), the wild boar (Sus scrofa), the Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and Fallow deer (Dama dama) can be seen. The wolf (Canis lupus) has vanished from many European countries. Its presence is a sign of intact nature.

Valchi Dol was pronounced a protected reserve in 1979 on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

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