Restoring ecological networks in Bulgaria’s Green Belt

Project Context and Aim

Broad-leaved forests, gallery woodland and grasslands in southeast Bulgaria hold relatively intact populations of wildlife. The area provides strongholds for globally threatened species such as eastern imperial eagle, Greek tortoise and mouse-tailed dormouse. It also lies on a migration flyway for thousands of raptors and storks. Low human population density and proximity to a formerly restricted border area mean that natural landscapes have not yet been significantly degraded by large-scale agriculture or urbanisation.

However, recently designated protected areas suffer from weak management and protection, grasslands are being converted to arable crops, and commercial plantation forestry has used ill-suited species that provide feeble economic returns and are poor for biodiversity. The project will create plans to conserve and restore natural forest and grasslands over 230,000 ha of Natura 2000 sites, and to reinstate grazing by wild deer as a conservation tool.

Project Partners

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB)

Project Gallery

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