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Salt of Life - Urgent Measures to Restore and Secure Long-term Preservation of the Atanasovsko Lake Coastal Lagoon

LIFE11 NAT/BG/000362


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Diyana KOSTOVSKA
Tel: +359 2 9316183
Fax: +359 2 9316183
Email: diyana.kostovska@biodiversity.bg



Project description:

Background

Atanasovsko Lake is a part of Bourgas lake complex, one of the three most significant wetland complexes for congregations of waterfowl along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The region of Atanasovsko Lake currently supports 288 bird species, 127 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria and identified by BirdLife as Species of European Conservation Concern (SPEC). Of these, 19 are listed in SPEC1 (globally threatened), 28 in SPEC 2 and 80 in SPEC 3, as species threatened in Europe. The area provides suitable habitats for 105 species included in Annex 2 of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Act (needing special conservation measures), of which 103 are listed also in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. Atanasovsko Lake is located at the Via Pontica migration flyway and is a typical bottleneck for migrating soaring birds from Northern, Eastern and Central Europe (up to 240 000 storks and up to 60 000 raptors). It is the site with the largest concentrations of migrating white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), the dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) and the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) in Europe and second for the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) after the Bosporus. Together with the other Bourgas lakes it is one of the favorite night roosts for pelicans and storks between the Danube delta and the Bosporus. Three types of habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive are found in the Atanasovsko Lake, but the lagoon habitat in Atanasovsko Lake is threatened by changes to the hydrological regime, drying, a degraded connection with the sea, pollution and eutrophication.


Objectives

The main aim of the project is to establish a functional, efficient and sustainable infrastructure for water management and the control of the coastal lagoon in Atanasovsko Lake. This will provide long-term improvements to habitat conditions and enable adaptation to the effects of climate change.

The project also aims to:

  • Reduce the impact of direct and indirect threats on Atanasovsko Lake lagoon and its priority bird species by securing sustainable habitat management, including improving existing and creating new breeding sites for priority bird species;
  • Monitor and evaluate the effects of the proposed habitat restoration measures on the lagoon, other significant habitats, and Annex I bird species, and to feed this information into future site management plans;
  • Improve the visitor experience at the site and to disseminate the project results to a wide European audience of site managers, ecologists and the general public;
  • Enhance public understanding of the ecological, economic and social values of the coastal lagoons and raise support for the conservation of priority coastal habitats and bird species.

Expected results: Specific outcomes will include the establishment of functional, efficient and sustainable infrastructure for water management and the control of the coastal lagoon in Atanasovsko, as well the mitigation of the impact of direct and indirect threats on Atanasovsko Lake lagoon and its priority bird species by securing sustainable habitat management, including improvements to existing and the creation of new breeding sites for priority bird species. The project will also increase public understanding and support for the ecological, economic and social values of the coastal lagoons.

In the long term, the habitat improvements and other beneficial changes brought about through the project will make an important contribution to efforts to increase the populations of a number of Annex 1 species including collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), little tern (Sterna albifrons), common tern (Sterna hirundo) and the gull-billed tern, sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis).


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Habitats - Freshwater


Keywords

endangered species‚  lake‚  coastal area‚  restoration measure


Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Alectoris barbara   Charadrius alexandrinus   Gelochelidon nilotica   Glareola pratincola   Himantopus himantopus   Recurvirostra avosetta   Sterna albifrons   Sterna hirundo   Sterna sandvicensis 


Target Habitat types

  • 1150 - Coastal lagoons
  • 1310 - Salicornia and other annuals colonizing mud and sand
  • 1410 - Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi)
  • 1530 - Pannonic salt steppes and salt marshes
  • 2110 - Embryonic shifting dunes
  • 6110 - Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi

Natura 2000 sites

SCI BG0000270 Atanasovsko ezero


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Established in 1997, the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF) is an NGO that focuses primarily on supporting efforts of the Bulgarian Government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in implementing sustainable management practices in seven key regions of Bulgaria – Central Balkan, Dobrudja, Bourgas Wetlands, Strandja, Eastern Rhodopes and Pirin.
Partners Bourgas Salinas, Bulgaria Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

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Project reference LIFE11 NAT/BG/000362
Duration 01-JUL-2012 to 31-AUG -2018
Total budget 2,013,027.00 €
EU contribution 1,450,558.00 €
Project location Yugoiztochen(Bulgaria Balgarija)

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Read more:

Brochure "The Salt of life"
Project web site Project's website
Video link "Water circle : Atanasousko lake" (1.50')

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version