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Rare Protected Plant Was Discovered in the Region of Haskovo

Northern Thracian collinar [Astragalus thracicus] is a very rare plant in the xerothermic oak belt of the hills and rim of the Northern Thracian plain (East Rumelian plain) of southeastern Bulgaria, in particular, in the Bakadzicita hills of the Yambol Tundzja basin and in the foothills of the eastern Rhodopes. In the Eastern Rhodopes it is just known from a few locations. The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) in Haskovo now reports about a newly discovered site near Stambolovo municipality, Haskovo region.

The recent discovery is going to be declared a protected area within ​​the project “A pilot network of small protected sites for plant species in Bulgaria using the Plant Micro-reserve model" funded by the Life+ EU program. The project is implemented by the Institute of Botany of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Environment and Water.

On the territory of the RIEW - Haskovo several small protected areas in the municipalities of Harmanli, Kirkovo, Ivaylovgrad, Svilengrad and Stambolovo will be set up for the protection of endangered species. Among them will be Astragalus thracicus.

The population of Astragalus thracicus grows on rocky limestone terrain, rarely on siliceous rock base. Inhabits stony and grassy and shrubby places on shallow, dry and eroded soils. Populations are mosaic, with numbers from several individuals to several hundred individuals.

General distribution of Astragalus thracicus:

Bulgaria, Greece, Former Republic of Yugoslavia, European part of Turkey (Balkan endemic, Tertiary relict).

Conservation status:
Protected species: Bulgarian Biodiversity Law.
National conservation status: Vulnerable (VU)
Included in: The Red Data Book of Bulgaria (V. 1).

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