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Demerdzhiev D.A.,Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

A total of 184 species of birds belonging to 17 orders were recorded in Besaparski Ridove Special Protection Area. Ninety-nine species are of European conservation concern (SPEC); 10 of them fall under the category SPEC 1, 23 as species threatened in Europe (SPEC 2) and and 48 as SPEC 3. Twelve of the recorded species are globally threatened, 6 of are near threatened, 4 are classified as vulnerable and 2 species are endangered. The area is of global significance for the conservation of the globally threatened Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and one of the most important territories of European significance in Bulgaria for the breeding Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) and Calandra Lark (Melanocoryphacalandra). A decline was recorded in species such as Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix), Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) and Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor), while an increase was recorded in the populations of Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) and European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster). Source

Tzonev R.T.,Sofia University | Gussev C.V.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Popgeorgiev G.S.,Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

Within the territory of Besaparski Hills Natura 2000 site, four types of non-forest habitats (5210, 6210, 62A0 and 6220) were identified. The habitats were mapped and their conservation status was assessed. The conservation status of habitats 6210, 62A0 and 6220 were assessed as "Unfavourable inadequate", while habitat 5210 was assessed as "Favourable". The main threats for the habitats are the development of new quarries, overgrazing, ploughing of grasslands. The habitat 62A0 "Eastern sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands" is the most widespread in the site and it also has an important role for the preservation of the populations of rare animals (including birds) as well as of endemic and protected plants. This study highlights the importance of Besaparski Ridove Special Protection Area for the nature conservation in Bulgaria, especially with its richness of petrophytic steppes. Their protection is essential to the conservation of the biodiversity not only at the national level but also as representative habitats for the Balkans and Europe. Source

Tzonev R.T.,Sofia University | Gussev C.V.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Popgeorgiev G.S.,Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

Ten types of non-forest habitats according to Directive 92/43/EEC (4060, 5130, 6210, 6230, 62A0, 6410, 6510, 6520, 7140 and 8210) are identified and map in Ponor Special Protection Area (included in Natura 2000 network). The conservation status of the habitats 4060, 62A0, 6230 and 6210 was assessed as "Favorable". On the other hand, the conservation status for the habitats 5130, 6520, 6410 and 7140 was evaluated as "Unfavourable - inadequate". The status of the habitats 6210 and 6510 were assessed as "Unfavourable - bad". The threats to the habitats also are identified. The main reasons leading to the unfavourable assessment are the overgrazing, invasion of shrub and trees after their abandonment, changes in the water regime. Some recommendations for the improvement of the conservation status are made for every habitat type. The habitat "6520 Mountain hay meadows" has the widest distribution (8101.455 ha) and is rich of some orophytic relic plants like Artemisia chamaemelifolia, Hypericum linarioides, etc. Relict steppes which have been widespread in Bulgaria during the ice age, are preserved in Ponor Mt. due to the specific geological and climatic characteristics. The areas are characterized by exceptional biodiversity (flora, fauna, plant communities and habitats) and its protection is essential to the conservation of biodiversity in the Balkans and Europe. Source

Nikolov S.,52 Feniks Str. | Nikolov C.,Mladost district | Angelov I.,Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2013

The preferred breeding substrates of the Egyptian Vulture are cliffs, alternative substrates such as trees and buildings are rarely used. Under extreme conditions, the species may also breed on the ground. Here we publish the first record on ground nesting of the Egyptian Vulture in continental Europe. Source

Shurulinkov P.,National Museum of Natural History Sofia | Chakarov N.,Bielefeld University | Daskalova G.,Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Parasitology Research | Year: 2012

Blood parasites of migrating yellow wagtails of two subspecies - Motacilla flava feldegg and Motacilla flava flava - were studied on a sample of 473 birds caught in spring and autumn periods in Bulgaria. We controlled eight "migration waves" (flocks captured in different evenings) of yellow wagtails for four parameters - average body mass, average fat level, average wing length, and average prevalence of different hematozoan species. Gametocytes or meronts of a total of six species of hematozoa belonging to three genera were identified - Haemoproteus motacillae, Haemoproteus anthi, Plasmodium relictum, Plasmodium subpraecox, Plasmodium cathemerium, and Tryponosoma avium. Mixed infections were detected in 31 cases, of which 14 were of H. anthi/H. motacillae type. Parasite species composition was similar in the two studied subspecies of M. flava. We did not find any significant differences in the overall infection prevalence or number of infecting parasites between M. f. flava and M. f. feldegg. Parasite prevalence and the number of co-infecting parasites in spring were much higher than in fall. Season had a strong influence on the prevalence of H. anthi and H. motacillae, and for both, there was a marginally significant interaction between subspecies and season, but not a seasonindependent influence of subspecies. Males of M. f. feldegg had a significantly higher overall blood parasite prevalence and prevalence of H. anthi than females. Sex-related differences in the prevalence of other parasites were not significant. Migration waves of yellow wagtails differed in overall infection status and in H. motacillae prevalence, but not for H. anthi prevalence. We also found significant differences in fat score, weight, and wing length between the studied migration waves of the yellow wagtails. Fat scores of birds infected with different hematozoa were lower compared with those of the non-infected birds. This only marginally was true for body weight and was not the case for wing length. Overall, infected birds were in worse condition (estimated as the residual weight after regression with wing length) compared with the non-infected birds, but after controlling for seasonal effects, the differences in condition appeared to be due to migration season and did not significantly differ between infected and non-infected birds caught in the same season. © Springer-Verlag 2012. Source

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