22° 35’ 39’’ E, 42° 50’ 5’’ N — Altitude:
1080 m — Area:
The region comprises the Bulgarian part of the Ruy Mountain, together with the basin field to the south (the valley of the Erma River). It is covered predominantly by beech forests (Fagus sylvatica) and arable land. The coniferous and mixed forests comprise a very small part of the whole area. There are also pastures, open grass areas, meadows, rocks and rock complexes. Characteristic for the region are the mesophytic meadows grown with Festuca pratensis, Poa sylvicola, Alopecurus pratensis, Lolium perenne, and Agrostis stolonifera.
The region is insufficiently investigated. Sporadic data were published by Todorowa & Petkoff (1915
). The reasons for including the region is the presence of important populations of 7 of the target species [see a list below] and its potential as a promising region for the establishment of other target species in future investigations.
— Target species: Zerynthia polyxena
, Parnassius apollo
, Scolitantides orion
, Glaucopsyche alexis
, Plebejus sephirus
, Erebia medusa
, Neptis sappho
A view of the Ruy area: mixed deciduous forests and rocky formations (Photo S. Beshkov, 21 April 2007).
Protection & threats:
It is poorly populated and affected by human activities connected with the using of its meadows and pastures, forestry and infrastructure development. The most serious threats are the degradation of the meadows because of the lack of mowing and grazing, and the expansion of the arable land. The forests have been very intensively used in the last decade. The development of tourism is also growing, which can lead to a negative influence on the butterfly habitats. A very serious threat is the possibility of the construction of open quarries and gold production using the cyanide technique in the region or its surroundings. The consequences are difficult to predict and the ensuing damages may lead to an ecological disaster.
In 1998 the territory was declared a CORINE area, due to its European importance for the preservation of rare and endangered habitats, plants and animals. In 2005 the territory was proclaimed an area of ornithological importance by BirdLife International. There have been established 97 bird species, 11 species of which are included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The moths data are inadequate. There are more data only from the area of Tsegrilovtsi Village, which is near the region but outside its boundaries. The following more interesting species have been found there: Lasiocampa grandis, Cyclophora annularia, Lygephila viciae, Mythimna impura, Divaena haywardi, Diaphora luctuosa, and Chelis maculosa, Cycnia luctuosa, Nola confusalis, Aglia tau, Anticlea derivata. The species Euplagia quadripunctaria was found in the surrounding area. It was included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive of the European Union.
Map of Ruy area.