Biodiversity and natural habitats
Only in Strandja there are Tertiary relics – these are types existed more than two million years ago, which have been preserved until today. The specific climate and geographical location of the mountain – a bridge between Europe and Asia, are the cause that Strandja the only one in Europe where many tertiary-relict plant species and forests with the presence of evergreen shrubs typical to the nature of the Caucasus, Colchis and the Black Sea coast of Turkey are preserved after the last ice age period.
In Strandja you can see unique plant species such as Strandja periwinkle. Nature Park “Strandja” is on the territory of the mountain- the largest protected area in Bulgaria, more than 80% of its territory is covered by forests, the reserves “Uzunbodzhak”, “Lopushnitsa”, “Silkosia” and “Arkoutino” and the remarkable Biosphere Park “Igneada” is in the Turkish part.
Natural Park “Strandja”, announced in 1995; area of 116,136.2 ha – the largest protected area in Bulgaria; 5 reserves (“Uzunbudzhak”, “Silkosia”, “Vitanovo”, “Tisovitsa” and “Sredoka”); protected areas; about 93 000 ha of forests; pastures, working lands, caves, sea cliff, dunes, estuaries; forests of southevksinskis type formed by the eastern durmast, eastern beech and oak with undergrowth of bushes (Strandja periwinkle, etc.), subevksinskis forests of oak, oak and eastern durmast; rich flora (1665 species), dozens of relict and endemic plants. There are 99 endemic species of invertebrates; the most abundant vertebrate fauna in Bulgarian protected area – 263 species. In Strandja Mountain over 1600 species of plants grow, there are dozens of relict and endemic plants, among which the most popular is the Strandja periwinkle (Rhododendron ponticum), there are a hundred species of invertebrates that are found only here and over 250 vertebrate species. Mountainside encounters wolves, wildcats, jackals, rabbits, deer, boars. Many otters live in the mountain. In Strandja Mountain there are over 250 species of birds, 17 of which are listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria. Their nests are kept in the protected areas.
The biosphere park Igneada covers a total area of approximately 130,000 hectares located between 41o55 ‘and 42o34’ north and 27o21 ‘and 28o05’ east. There are 25 villages such as Small Samokov, Sergen, Yenice and Kıyıköy which are classified as urban settlements, and the others as rural settlements. The total population in the Biosphere Park covers 18,000 residents. In 1992 at a conference of European environmental ministers, held in Lucerne (Switzerland), Strandja Mountain is classified as one of the five most important areas in Central and Eastern Europe for the protection of the European natural heritage. Biologically, Strandja mountain represents the western end of the flora Euxin, as elements ranging from the southern edge of the species Pribalkans and Central Europe. Yildiz Dağları (Istranca Dağları) and Igneada Longos are two of national importance habitats for plants (BMP) within which you need to build the Biosphere Park. The fauna in this part is characteristic for European average kinds of fauna. The location of the Biosphere along the western coast of the Black Sea is located within an important and major route for Palaearctic migratory birds. Many tertiary relicts amongst plants and invertebrate species are also available, although invertebrate fauna is still poorly versed.
The extensive area of the Turkish part also contains a great deal of karst formations. A recent study showed that 40 species of cave invertebrates are documented in 26 caves, of which three are considered new to science (2 species of spiders – Araneae and 1 pseudoscorpions – Pseudoscorpionida). In addition to this it is estimated that around 42,000 bats use many of these caves and shelters. Four of the caves (Tirfez, Kuru, Pestilin, and Ceneviz) keep significant archaeological finds.
|Flora in Strandja||Fauna in Strandja|