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Momina Skala (the Maid’s Rock)

The Momina Skala protected site has an area of 782.03 ha. It was established with Order No: RD-475 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving plants and animals that are protected and threatened with extinction as well as unique landscape and rock formations. The Momina Skala protected site is within the territory of the municipalities of Madzharovo and Krumovgrad, in the land of the village of Bryagovets.  It holds one of the most picturesque portions of the valley of the Arda River. It includes rock complexes, sprees, precipices, forests, and pastures. The region is characterized by an exceptional variety of the flora and fauna. Here, some 600 plant species, 300 butterfly species, and 160 vertebrae species have been registered. Among them are many that are threatened with extinction on a national, European, and worldwide scale. Of the plants, the following are particularly valuable: the Balkans fritillary (Fritilaria pontica), the Stefanoffia daucoides, the butterfly orchid (Orhis papillionacea), the bird spiderflower (Cleome ornithopoides), and the Micropyrum tenellum. Among the animals, such are the tortoises (T. hermanni, T. graeca), the European legless lizard (Ophisaurus appodus), the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the golden eagle (Aquila hrysaetos), the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the blue (Monticola solitarius) and the rufous-tailed rock thrush (Monticola saxatillis), the rock nuthatch (Sitta neumayer), the masked shrike (Lanius nubicus), the black-headed bunting (Emberisza hortulana). The forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula), which is active at night, is also to be found. During the day, it stays in tree hollows. Due to the clearing of old woods, its numbers are dwindling in many European countries.  

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