site.btaPersina Nature Park: 21 Years of Danube Wetlands Conservation
ENVIRONMENT - NATURE PARK - PERSINA
Persina Nature Park:
21 Years of Danube
Sofia, December 13 (Dimitrina Solakova of BTA) - The Persina Nature Park recently marked its 21st birthday. The only nature park in the Bulgarian section of the Danube was established back in 2000 to preserve the natural state of the islands within its area of 21,762.2 ha, as well as to restore the local wetlands. The current condition of these habitats and the impressive number of their plant and animal inhabitants prove that the 21 years of conservation efforts have paid off.
The Persina Nature Park is named after Bulgaria's largest and Europe's fourth largest Danube island, the 15-km long Persin. The park also includes ten other islands: Golyama Burzina, Magaretsa, Shtouretsa, Milka, Kitka, Predela, Gradina, Srednyak, Lakut, and Palets, as well as areas on the river bank in the municipalities of Belene, Nikopol, and Svishtov. This Natura 2000 protected area is managed by the Persina Nature Park Directorate, whose administration and a Visitors' Centre are located in the Town of Belene.
More than 740 higher plant species can be found in the park's natural flooded forests, including the yellow water-lily, summer snowflake, shining spurge and other entries in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria. Persina is an important conservation site for the populations of floating fern and water shamrock, which are listed under Appendix I (Strictly Protected Flora Species) to the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
The Persina Nature Park is home to over 1,000 animal species, including some 250 zooplanktons and more than 770 invertebrates. This is Bulgaria's only habitat of the endemic Danube crested newt.
Over 200 bird species have been observed in the park, ranking it among Bulgaria's fifty sites of ornithological importance and earning it the name of 'waterfowl paradise'. This is where a new nesting colony of Dalmatian pelican - Bulgaria's first in 60 years - was formed in 201. In 2020 this endangered species formed a second colony in the park, once again on the Persin Island. The white-tailed eagle (one of the rarest nesting birds in Bulgaria) and other species of high conservation value, such as the pygmy cormorant and the white-eyed pochard, can also be spotted in the park.
Visitors to Persina can walk along eco-routes with recreation areas and bird hides. Information, literature and guides are available from the Visitors' Centre in Belene. DS/LG //