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A field study in relation to the reporting under Art. 12 of the Birds Directive was conducted

In the period 7-16 of August 2019 Borut Rubinic – Key expert “Birds” from the international expert team of “Dicon-Particip”, conducted a field study in potential places for monitoring of birds in Bulgaria, as a part of the project: “Analyzes and studies of the species and natural habitats in Bulgaria, subject to reporting under Art. 17 of the Habitats Directive and Art. 12 of the Birds Directive”, with Beneficiary the Executive Environment Agency (ExEA), funded by the Operational Programme “Environment 2014 – 2020”.

 

The study had three main goals:

  • To visit the protected areas from Natura 2000 network so that to assess the parks administration capacity and of other organizations to conduct monitoring of birds, and in particular – their potential for participation in implementation of the National Birds Monitoring Concept in Bulgaria.
  • To visit different sites/places, where a monitoring of birds has been already doing, which will become a part of the regular monitoring program, foreseen in the National Birds Monitoring Concept in Bulgaria – transects from the monitoring scheme of common bird species, monitoring points from the schemes for monitoring of the migratory birds, monitoring places from the scheme of average winter census of waterfowl and from the scheme for monitoring of breeding birds species.
  • To visit ecosystems, combined of different types of habitats of birds, typical for the country, if possible various Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under Birds Directive.

The study was conducted along the route Sofia – NP “Central Bolkan” – Gabrovo – Plovdiv – Haskovo – Madjarovo – Topolovgrad – Burgas – Galata – Silistra – Lukovit – Belogradchik – Western Stara Planina. The route had a total length of over 1600 km and included a national park, 4 natural parks, 18 protected areas, as well as potential or already used monitoring places. Meetings with parks’ officers and experts from the nature protection non-government organizations were hold.

Mr. Rubinic shared the following general impressions of his research:

  • In Bulgaria there are large regions with natural habitats. The population is concentrated in cities and villages, with a small number of individual houses outside them – something untypical both for Europe as a whole and for the region. Therefore, human influence in many places is probably not as intense and the country is full of areas important for the conservation of viable populations of many bird species.
  • It is obvious that the condition of the rural areas is deteriorated, which together with depopulation cause also decrease of the population of some bird species, related to human (House Sparrows, Jackdaws, White Storks).
  • In some parts of the country traditional agricultural practices are common (small agricultural areas, crop rotation, different landuse - pastures, cornfields, forests), but in other parts – mainly in the Danube plain and especially in Dobrudja – the agriculture has become much more intensive over the last 20 years, which is affecting bird populations.

The experience obtain during the conducted study will be used by the international expert team of the consortium “Dicon-Particip” in development of the bird monitoring schemes in Bulgaria.