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[12] Kalimantsi

Blagoevgrad District
NATURA 2000: Lycaena dispar

Coordinates: 23° 31’ 3’’ E, 41° 29’ 20’’ N — Altitude: 649 m — Area: 19536 ha

Description: The region is situated in the southwest part of the country and comprises a territory around the valleys of the rivers Pirinska Bistritsa, Kalimanska, and Petrovska to the west of the Slavyanka Mountain and to the east of the River Struma. The vegetation is composed mainly of forests of Quercus pubescens and Q. virgiliana, mixed with Carpinus orientalis, Fraxinus ornus, Pyrus amygdalifolia, Pistacia terebinthus, Acer campestre, and Ulmus. Some of the largest formations of Quercus coccifera in Bulgaria are found here. There are lots of bushes dominated by Phyllirea latifolia, Juniperus oxycedrus, Paliurus spina-christi, Asparagus acutifolius, Cornus mas, and Cistus incanus in combination with xerothermic grass formations and Stipa bromoides, Dactylis glomerata, Anemone pavonna, Melica ciliate, Teucrium chamaedrys, Cyclamen hederifolium, Salvia, etc. The river banks are grown with forests of Platanus orientalis and galleries of Alnus glutinosa.

The butterflies of the region are studied comparatively well. The results were published by Tuleschkow (1929), Abadjiev (2001). The reason for including the area is the presence of important populations of 11 of the target species [see a list below], especially Pieris ergane, Lycaena dispar and Maculinea arion.

Target species: Thymelicus acteon, Muschampia tessellum, Pieris ergane, Lycaena dispar, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Glaucopsyche alexis, Maculinea arion, Plebejus sephirus, Erebia medusa, Hipparchia senthes, Melitaea trivia.

Xerothermic bush formations near Kalimantsi Village (S. Beshkov, 1 April 2007).
Xerothermic bush formations near Kalimantsi Village

Protection & threats: The region is highly influenced by industrial and forestry activities. The forests are threatened by frequent cutting (the deciduous forests are cut as heating timber). There are plans for the implementation of investment projects for the construction of a number of small hydropower plants, which will increase the negative effect on the water balance. Another potential threat is the danger of forest fires. As management measures we recommend stimulation of the cutting of Robinia pseudoacacia for heating timber and the usage of regenerable energy sources (sun energy), which the region is rich in.

Other remarks: The region has a great biological variety, especially reptiles and insects. This is one of the reasons why it has been proposed as a NATURA 2000 area. The following moth species of conservation importance have been established here: Hemaris croatica, Saturnia spini, Saturnia pyri, Perisomena caecigena, Eriogaster catax, Chemelina caliginearia, Acronicta orientalis, Catocala diversa, Catocala separata, Ophiusa thirraca, Exophila rectangularis, Metachrostis velox, Raparna conicephala, Eutelia adoratrix, Calocucullia celsiae, Calophasia bathae, Teinoptera lunaki, Asteroscopus syriaca decipulae, Lithophane merckii, Lithophane ledereri, Lithophane semubrunnea wiltshirei, Dryobota labecula, Dryobotodes tenebrosa, Agrochola gratiosa, Agrochola osthelderi, Agrochola wolfschlaegeri, Apamea epomidion, Euplagia quadripunctaria, etc. From them Eriogaster catax and Euplagia quadripunctaria are included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive of the European Union.

Map of Kalimantsi area
Map of Kalimantsi area.