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[17] Lomovete

Ruse District
NATURA 2000: Lycaena dispar, Euphydryas aurinia [?]

Coordinates: 26° 8’ 28’’ E, 43° 38’ 3’’ N — Altitude: 238 m — Area: 32489 ha

Description: The region comprises gorges with curves and turns, deeply cut in the valley of the Rusenski Lom River and its tributaries. It is situated near the villages of Ivanovo, Pisanets, and Senovo. Very characteristic of the region are the vertical limestone walls of the canyons with lots of recesses and clefts. Other main habitats are the forests dominated by mixed forests of Quercus robur, Quercus dalechampii, Quercus pubescens, and Carpinus orientalis. There are a lot of mixed forests of Tilia tomentosa and Carpinus betulus. Along the valley there are mesophytic meadow communities and xerothermic grass communities dominated by Dichantium ischaemum and Poa bulbosa. The banks of the rivers are grown with willows (Salix), black poplar (Populus nigra), and white poplar (Populus alba). Along the sides of the river there are swampy places and overflows, especially in spring. Some parts of the highly deforested and open places are grown with Paliurus spina-christi.

The region is not well investigated, but promising. The first data were reported by Kowatschew (1898). The main reason for including the area is the presence of important populations of 12 of the target species [see a list below], especially Lycaena dispar.

Target species: Zerynthia polyxena, Parnassius mnemosyne, Lycaena dispar, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Scolitantides orion, Glaucopsyche alexis, Apatura ilia, Neptis sappho, Nymphalis xanthomelas, Euphydryas aurinia, Melitaea trivia, M. aurelia.

Vertical limestone walls of the canyon of Rusenski Lom near Ivanovo Village. In the valley meadows and riparian forests of willows and poplars. Habitat of Parnassius mnemosyne, Lycaena dispar (Photo S. Beshkov, May 2006).
Vertical limestone walls of the canyon of Rusenski Lom near Ivanovo Village (1)
Vertical limestone walls of the canyon of Rusenski Lom near Ivanovo Village (2)

Limestone plateau near the ancient city of Cherven, Cherni Lom. Habitat of Melitaea trivia (Photo S. Beshkov, May 2006).
Limestone plateau near the ancient city of Cherven, Cherni Lom

Protection & threats: Part of the territory of Lomovete is protected by law. It comprises Rusenski Lom Natural Park (declared as such in 1970 as part of the measures for the preservation of unique plain gorges and endangered plant and animal species) and Beli Lom Reserve (declared as such for the purpose of preserving representative forest ecosystems). Nevertheless, the access to some parts of the Lomovete territory is greatly facilitated, owing to the presence of attractive sights belonging to the cultural and historical heritage of the country. The rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo are under UNESCO’s protection as part of the world cultural heritage. The increased anthropogenic presence and unregulated dumping grounds in the region lead to ruderalisation. A possible threat is the penetration of invasive introduction species like Ailanthus and Robinia pseudoacacia, which replace the natural vegetation. As future management measures we recommend stopping the using for afforestation of such alien species as Pinus nigra, Robinia pseudoacacia, and hybrid poplar. The places planted with such species should be recultivated and brought back to their natural state.

Other remarks: In 1989 this territory was declared an area of ornithological importance by BirdLife International. There have been found 149 birds species, 37 of which were included in The Red Data Book of Bulgaria. Because of its European importance for the preservation of rare and endangered habitats, plants and animals, the place was declared a CORINE area in 1998. Some of the rare moths of conservation importance are: Proserpinus proserpina, Asovia maeoticaria, Scopula immistaria beshkovi (a Bulgarian endemic subspecies, known only from its type locality up to now), Macrochilo tentacularia, Diachrysia stenochrysis, Deltote bankiana, Hadena syriaca podolica, Mythimna alopecuri and Euplagia quadripunctaria. The last species was listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive 92/43 of the European Union.

Map of Lomovete area
Map of Lomovete area.