Location and Values: Srebarna Nature Reserve protects a small lake and adjoining wetland ecosystem next to the Danube River in northern Bulgaria. It provides critical habitat for 173 species of birds, including 78 species that are of European conservation concern, and nine species listed as globally threatened. Amongst the globally threatened species are Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed Eagle, Corncrake and Red-breasted Goose. Srebarna protects an increasingly rare type of wetland that includes floating islands of reeds, flooded woodlands of willow and poplar, wet meadows and belts of riverine forest with large old individual trees of White Willow. The lake and surrounding wetlands are typical of the Danube floodplain environment that existed along much of the river before its flooding was controlled by the construction of dykes in the middle of the last century. Today, the wetlands of Srebarna are maintained artificially by controlling the flow of water from the river along a man-made channel.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Srebarna Nature Reserve is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the conservation status of most of the bird populations seems to be improving, although data for some species is insufficient to allow reliable assessments. However, there is concern about the overall health of the ecosystem and the impact of present hydrological management, as well as eutrophication and siltation on the wetlands. In the long-term climate change may have also have a significant impact on the ecosystem, but the nature of this is difficult to predict.
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description