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Strandja region

Strandja Nature Park occupies the central part of Bulgarian Strandja Mountain. It is situated to the south of Burgas on the way to Malko Turnovo and to the east it borders the Black Sea between the towns of Ahtopol and Sinemorets. It spreads over 11 600 hectares. The park relief is hilly, low mountainous, very indented with rounded ridges and deeply indented steep gorges. The two clearest rivers run through the park Veleka and Rezovska. The climate is warm and mild, and combined with rains and dampness has preserved some relict species, characteristic for the Pontian - Evxin evergreen flora. The symbol of the park is the Stranjan periwinkle (Rhododendron ponticum). Over 75% of the park's territory is taken by oak and beech forests. There are Caucasus, Central European and Mediterranean floral representatives. There is specific ecological environment in the park, due to which two different forest regions have been formed - a seaside one to the south of Tsarevo and internal Strandja. Thus there are dense forests, dunes and swamps near the sea shores and beech and oak forests in the internal part. The flora in Strandja Nature Park represents a conglomerate of diverse species. There are 1665 high plant species, 3 Bulgarian endemics, 7 Balkan endemics, 32 relict species, 56 rare and 110 endangered species. Precious floral representatives are the Strandjan periwinkle, Strandjan oak-tree, Caucasus cowslip, St. John's wort, Strandjan whortberry, etc. There are 32 amphibian and reptile species, among which are: Malpolon monspessulanus, Ophisaurus apodus Pallas, Elaphe situla, Salamandra maculosa, etc. In the rivers, there are over 40 fish species - trout, barbell, Danubean herring, wild carp, etc. Strandja Nature Park is also famous ornithological area. It is situated on the migration way Via Pontica and there are 261 birds, 124 nesting there, 17 of which are included in the Red book: Egyptian vulture, Black stork, owl, Imperial eagle, Kingfisher. Among the 54 mammals in the park are 6 species of marten, polecat, otter, and weasel. The wolves count 20 and the jackal population reaches 2000. Within Strandja Nature Park, there are 5 reserves, 12 protected places, 9 natural sights and a number of venerable trees. Silkosia is the name of the first reserve in Bulgaria announced in 1933. Today it covers 396,5 hectares encompassing 260 high plant species, over 50 animal species, 16 relict and 3 endemic plant species. Impressive are the pure beech forests. The Ouzunboudjak Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 2 581.5 hectares. The name "boudjak" has Turkish origin and means nook, still place - thus the Turks called the meanders that Rezovska river forms. The shores are steep with interesting stone formations and caves. This is forest reserve including 200 years old durmasts. Among the protected areas are the place Veleka, including the upper stream of the river with the karst rocky banks; the place Paroria where legends of medieval monastery live; and the place Marina river - very small area with 15 tree species, over 10 bush species and almost all evergreen species - a natural botanic garden. Among the natural phenomena are the caves and springs of Mladezhka river - 8.3 hectares of karst springs, caves and one underground lake and Kamaka place (the Stone) -, which represents a complex of stone forms that were used by the Thracians as sanctuary. http://www.discover-bulgaria.com


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