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[06] Devin

Smolyan District
NATURA 2000: Euphydryas aurinia

Coordinates: 24° 24’ 52’’ E, 41° 45’ 9’’ N — Altitude: 891 m — Area: 2286 ha

Description: The region comprises a territory around the town of Devin and includes part of the Mount Devin, the valley of the Devin River, and the slopes of Chernatisa Ridge. A large part is covered by forests, consisting mainly of Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra, and a small part is composed of deciduous and mixed forests. The deciduous forests consist mainly of Quercus dalechampii and Ostrya carpinifolia, and in some places of Carpinus orientalis, Fraxinus excelsior and Fraxinus ornus. Here and there Ostrya carpinifolia also takes part in forming forests of Fagus moesiaca and Acer hyrcanum. The purely Quercus dalechampii forests are grown over by Crataegus monogyna, Cornus mas, Corylus avellana, Ligustrum vulgare, Syringa vulgaris, etc. The river banks are covered by galleries of Alnus glutinosa, Salix, and single trees of Populus tremula. The grass formations are varied, but dominated by the mesophytic ones consisting of Agrostis capillaris, Nardeta strictae, and Festuca rubra. There are certain limestone rock formations and screes inhabited by xerothermic species. The endemic species Haberlea rhodopensis can be seen in dark places in rocky formations by rivers and streams.

The butterflies of the region are well investigated. The data were published by Buresch & Tuleschkow (1929). The reason for including the area is the presence of important populations of 11 of the target species [see a list below], especially Carterocephalus palaemon, Parnassius apollo and Euphydryas aurinia.

Target species: Carterocephalus palaemon, Parnassius apollo, Scolitantides orion, Erebia medusa, Apatura iris, Limenitis populi, Neptis rivularis, Euphydryas aurinia, Melitaea trivia, M. aurelia, Brenthis hecate.

General view of the Devin area (Photo L. Andreev).
General view of the Devin area

Protection & threats: The region is strongly influenced by the industrial and forestry activities, as well as by using the waters by tourism. The forests are threatened by intensive afforestation and by illegal cutting. The Devin mineral waters and their usage in spa-hotels is a prerequisite for rigorous construction activities. The most serious threat for the moment is the building of the big Tsankov Kamak Dam, accompanied by cutting, detonations, road and infrastructure construction, and compete destruction by flooding of the preserved natural habitats, protected by the European legislation. There is a danger of building small windpower plants in other places as well.

Other remarks: In 2005 part of the region was declared an area of ornithological importance by BirdLife International. It is a CORINE area due to its European importance for the preservation of rare and endangered localities, plants and animals. The moths have not been investigated well enough, but there have been established the following rare species of conservation importance: Hyles vespertilio, Epione vespertalia, Chariaspilates formosaria, Ecliptopera capitata, Rheumaptera undulata, Moma alpium, Plusia putnami gracilis, Phyllophila obliterata, Apamea epomidion, Apamea rubrirena, Photedes minima, Hadena vulcanica urumovi, Hadena caesia bulgarica, Hadena syriaca podolica, Parocneria detrita orientis, Euplagia quadripunctaria, the last of which was listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive of the European Union.

Map of Devin area
Map of Devin area.