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[08] Durankulak

Dobrich District
NATURA 2000: Lycaena dispar

Coordinates: 28° 32’ 38’’ E, 43° 40’ 20’’ N — Altitude: 10 m — Area: 2412 ha

Description: The region is situated in the northernmost part of the Black Sea coast around the liman freshwater lake of Durankulak. To the east it is separated from the Black Sea by sand dunes and a beach strip, grown with psammophytic and halophytic grass formations largely dominated by Leymeta racemosi, Ammophylleta arenariae, Galileeta mucronatae, Centaureeta arenariae, Trachomitum venetum, Eryngium maritimum, and Cakile maritima. The shores of the lake are mainly grown with Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, Typha latifolia, Shoenoplectus triquete, Alisma, Caltha, Equisetum, Sparganium, etc. The southwest part of the beach is high and stony without any presence of open water surfaces. This part of the beach is grown with bush associations consisting of Paliurus spina-christi, Crataegus monogyna, Rosa canina and artificially planted Populus, Fraxinus oxycarpa, Fraxinus ornus, and Prunus machaleb. The hydrophytic vegetation is mixed with some naturally grown groups of Salix alba. A narrow strip of the high beach between the lake and the agricultural lands against Vaklino (between the lake and the sea) has steppe character, but it is very insignificant in size. The other areas of the region consist of arable or abandoned agricultural lands with ruderal vegetation.

The region is comparatively well investigated. The data were reported by Beshkov & Abadjiev (2000). The reasons for its inclusion are the presence of some of the main and viable populations of Lycaena dispar and Pseudophilotes vicrama in Bulgaria and its potential as a promising region for the establishment of more target species in future investigations.

Target species: Lycaena dispar, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Melitaea trivia.

Open herbaceous formations along Durankulak Lake; habitat of Pseudophilotes vicrama (Photo S. Beshkov, 1999).
Open herbaceous formations along Durankulak Lake

Protection & threats: The Durankulak lake was declared a protected area in 1983 as part of the measures for the preservation of endangered species of hydrophytic birds. The lake is used as a source of irrigation water, industrial fishing, and crayfish collection. The surrounding territories are used for grazing by goat, sheep, and cows, and for agriculture (vegetable and grain growing), recreation and tourism, as well as for forestry and hunting (to a lesser extent) outside the protected area. The human presence (mainly fishermen) is strong and uncontrolled. The pollution with daily waste and the trampling and destruction of the beach strip is a serious problem. Recently the region has been strongly threatened by the plans for the development of new recreation and tourist areas, and windpower parks. Other threats, producing a negative impact on the quality of the habitats, are the usage of pesticides in arable lands and the burning of stubbles.

Other remarks: In 1984 Durankulak lake was declared a Wetland of international importance according to the Ramsar Convention. In 1989 the territory was proclaimed an area of ornithological importance by BirdLife International. 260 species of birds have been found, 72 of which are included in The Red Data Book of Bulgaria. Part of the region was declared a CORINE area in 1998 because of its European importance for the preservation of rare and endangered habitats, plants and animals. Some butterfly and moth species of conservation importance from other groups established in the region, are: Triodia amasinus dobrogensis, Hyles hippophaes, Colias erate, Scopula corrivalaria (the only locality for the species in Bulgaria), Eupithecia variostrigata, Eupithecia inturbata, Macrochilo cribrumalis, Schrankia costaestrigalis, Diachrysia nadeja, Diachrysia chryson deltaica (the only locality in Bulgaria), Athetis furvula, Proxenus lepigone, Apamea sicula, Agrotis obesa scitha, Agrotis vestigialis, Pelosia obtusa, etc.

Map of Durankulak area
Map of Durankulak area.