Srebarna Nature Reserve Facts: Learn About Why Its So Famous | Kidadl


Srebarna Nature Reserve Facts: Learn About Why Its So Famous

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Srebarna is considered a wetland located on the west bank of the river Danube.

Over 180 species of birds nest here, including migratory birds. This nature reserve near the Danube is a freshwater lake of 1,482 ac (600 ha).

It's a breeding ground for about 100 different bird species, some of which are rare or endangered worldwide. Every winter, nearly 80 different birds migrate here to seek refuge.

The Dalmatian pelican, the great egret, the night heron, the purple heron, the bald ibis, and the white spoonbill are just a few of the fascinating bird species you may find here.

History & Formation

Nature reserves are based on centuries of land acquisition and legal battles that contribute to their creation and security and the protection of flora and fauna in the reserves.

In 1942, it was called a Wildfowl Refuge. A managed nature reserve with an area of 1,482 ac (600 ha) was declared in 1948 by Decree 2-11-931 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. In 1975, this important wetland ecosystem was given the title of a Ramsar Wetland site. In 1977, it was given the title of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In 1983, a buffer region of 1,341 ac (542.8 ha) was joined around the area of the reserve. Between the years 1992 to 2001, it was called upon as a globally threatened World Heritage site owing to erosion, water shortages, and water losses caused by upstream Danube construction.

A 1,663 ac (673 ha) buffer zone was established in 2008 to preserve the area. This includes 419 hectares of land around the Srebarna Nature Reserve, situated inside an adjoining conserved region known as Pelikanite and a component of the reserve that is not a member of World Heritage property. The goal of this buffer zone is to keep harmful human influences on the reserve to a minimum.

Area & Location

The Srebarna Nature Reserve plays an important role in the region and its ecosystem. It helps to preserve wildlife and the ecosystem and, at the same time, provides enough recreational opportunities for people to enjoy the surroundings.

Srebarna is considered a wetland located on the west bank of the Danube river and maintains a 638 ac (1,576 ha) lake near the village of Srebarna. The lake and the former agricultural land on the north side of the lake, the Danube forest plantations, Komluka Island, and the hydrological area between the island and the river bank are part of the reserve.

Many wetlands are considered essential in the Srebarna Nature Reserve, which is geographically located on a bird migration route. It provides nesting grounds for 99 bird species and seasonal habitats for about 80 migratory birds. In addition, the area is bordered by hills that serve as a natural barrier and provide a great vantage point for waterfowl viewing.

The Srebarna Nature Reserve includes Lake Srebarna and its nearby regions on the European-African bird migration pathway.

The reserve is an excellent example of a type of swamp that used to be common in Bulgaria. It protects various plant and animal species, which are increasingly threatened with extinction. Many birds use the marsh as nesting, staging, and wintering sites. Major nesting sites for birds include flooded willow woodlands and floating reed islands. The significant reed beds gradually transition to wet grassland at the lake's northern end. In addition, there are floodplain forest zones with individual old white willow trees at the northwestern edge of the lake and along the entire Danube.

Srebarna is a freshwater lake essential for waterfowl nesting, passage, and hibernation. The lake was once linked to the adjacent Danube, but currently, there is only a waterway connecting the two. The safeguarded region is just about 2.3 sq mi (6 sq km) in size. It's blanketed with grasses and other marsh vegetation to the tune of 75%.

The Danube Lake Reserve is a 1,482 ac (600 ha) freshwater lake near the Danube.

Lake Srebarna demonstrates the significant relationship between a stream and its adjacent marshes. Previously, the high water eliminated tonnes of micronutrients, organic waste, and even entire islands of drifting reeds from the lake annually. After the Danube-Lake protective barrier construction in 1948, the situation in Srebarna became much worse. The lake began to age, or succession quickened in the environmental sense. The lake gradually filled with organic muck and got deeper, the exposed water surface shrank, and many fish and bird varieties vanished.

In 1963, a significant restoration to the Danube was attempted for the first time. A linking lock was installed on the defensive dam, but it was subsequently removed after that. A piece of the dam's tallest western portion was demolished in 1979, allowing the Danube to access the reserve under particularly high water levels. This is a significant advance forward, but it is insufficient because the Danube is only connected to this path occasionally. It is primarily one-way: from the Danube to Srebarna. The situation continued to worsen as the years passed.

Srebarna's 'artificial respiration' was possible by constructing a connecting canal with a lock-in in 1994. Due to this channel, freshwater from the Danube may now pour into the lake. It delays the effects of aging but will not eliminate the issue. The Srebarna Reserve will resume vanishing as long as the average two-way flux between the Danube and, indeed, the lake is disrupted.

Wildfowl is the primary reason for this reserve's establishment. Approximately half of the Bulgarian avifauna consists of these birds, so their protection is vital.

Animal & Plant Life In Srebarna Nature Reserve

At Srebarna Nature Reserve, you can see all kinds of animal and plant life, which helps us appreciate our surroundings and ecosystems. The facts below help us understand them a bit better.

Srebarna Nature Reserve's extensive bird population is the sole reason for its major international significance. The site is home to bird colonies deemed vital to the species' survival. It is home to Bulgaria's sole Dalmatian pelican nest and the world's biggest breeding concentrations of 4 other internationally endangered animals: pygmy cormorant, ferruginous duck, white-tailed eagle, and corncrake. The squacco heron, little egret, little bittern night heron, greater white egret, glossy ibis, spoonbill, purple heron, and ruddy shelduck are just a few of the animals that inhabit Srebarna.

Three distinct types of terns may be found here. In addition, several globally-vulnerable species inhabit the reserve, including red-breasted geese, pygmy cormorants, white-fronted geese, greylag geese, and fieldfares.

The wildlife is diverse, with 233 varieties and 52,350 waterbirds. 80 migrating types (55% of Bulgarian organisms) are among them, 24 of whom provide the reserve its special position as a haven for endangered or critical lifeforms. The reserve is a significant bird area and a haven for 12 globally and 57 domestically vulnerable varieties. It's extremely crucial for waterbirds that are looking for a breeding ground.

The prestigious birds like the mute swan Cygnus olor, the white-fronted. Lastly, the greylag geese, Anser albifrons, A. Anser (505 birds), and white-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla are all significant nesting populations (one to five pairs). With the scientific name, Chlidonias hybrida, the whiskered tern formed a nesting population in 1999. The Ramsar 2002 site description estimates are often better than those given by Birdlife International from the ’90s.

Importance Or Significance Of Srebarna Nature Reserve

A natural reserve plays an important role in various factors such as ecology, tourism, revenue, and much more. Some of the significant facts that describe the importance of the Srebarna Nature Reserve are mentioned below!

Srebarna Lake was Bulgaria's initial wetland to be granted legislative safeguards and the first to gain global legitimacy. In 1948, the lake was established as a reserve to conserve the variety of birds that call it home. The land is categorized as a 'Managed Reserve' and solely owned by the Bulgarian government, per a 1998 law that deals with protected areas. Monitoring and administration are under the government's Ministry of Water, Environment, and local branches.

Specifically, the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water in Russe is responsible for the region. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Ramsar Convention, and the Ramsar Convention describe Srebarna Lake as a Wetland of International Importance. World Heritage status also applies to it. At the European level, its objectives are highly acknowledged and safeguarded. Two Natura 2000 protection areas cover most of the country's territory: the Srebarna Special Protection Area and the Ludogorie-Srebarna Special Area of Conservation.

Continuous facility administration is required, and a management plan must be reviewed and updated to lead this activity. Environmental management for the preservation of the property's nesting bird populations and the reserve's continuous use as a migratory bird resting place are major priorities of the management strategy. A variety of separate areas in reserve have their own set of rules based on their ecological importance. Maintaining and restoring the lake's water infrastructure to as natural a state as possible is an important management necessity.

Vegetation management is also required to maximize the estate's conservation potential for birds. Controlling human usage and actively preventing poaching and illegal fishing are continuous requirements. The attainment of specific objectives should be specified and revised in the management plan implementation surveillance of operations to ensure the execution of management strategy.

The land hosts critical habitat to 173 bird varieties, 78 of European conservation concerns, and nine are globally endangered.

More than 80 additional bird species travel here to seek refuge each winter. The area is regarded as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve surrounded by the Ramsar Wetland and is part of the WWF Global Two Hundred Freshwater Ecoregions.


Why is Srebarna Nature Reserve important?

Just on the Western Palaearctic bird migration flyway, the World Heritage Site, Srebarna Nature Reserve, is an important wetland of international importance. It is home to 99 different bird species and 80 different migratory birds.

How old is Srebarna Nature Reserve?

In 1948, the region was designated a wildlife reserve and had been a Ramsar property since 1975. Under the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the area is strictly designated as a World Natural Heritage Site. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.

Is Srebarna Nature Reserve protected?

The World Heritage Site has a 2.3 sq mi (6 sq km) protected area and a 2 sq mi (5.4 sq km) safe zone. The lake's depth fluctuates between 3-10 ft (1-3 m). A museum has been built, with various stuffed animals native to the reserve on display.

What animals live in Srebarna Nature Reserve?

Srebarna is a wetland home for over 180 bird varieties, both nesting and migratory, just on the Danube's western bank. The Dalmatian pelican and a few other bird varieties like the great egret, night heron, purple heron, glossy ibis, and white spoonbill are some of the most intriguing bird varieties found in the esteemed reserve.

What plants live in Srebarna Nature Reserve?

All around the lake, there are hydrophyte varieties, such as reeds. There are 139 plant varieties in the area, 11 of which are threatened with extinction beyond the Srebarna.

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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