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[28] Poda

Burgas District
NATURA 2000: Lycaena dispar, Coenonympha oedippus

Coordinates: 27° 24’ 5’’ E, 42° 24’ 52’’ N — Altitude: 3 m — Area: 5864 ha

Description: The Poda region occupies the areas around Mandra Lake, south of and immediately around the town of Burgas. The greater part of the southern shore of the lake is grown with forests consisting mainly of Quercus pedunculiflora, Quercus robur, and Acer campestre. The lake is surrounded by mesophytic meadows dominated by Festuca pratensis and Poa sylvicola, and also by halophytic grass communities dominated by Puccinellia convoluta and bush vegetation (mainly Paliurus spina-christi). The lagoon in Poda is densely grown with swamp and marsh hygrophytic vegetation, mainly Phragmites australis and Typha.

The region is very well investigated. The first exhaustive regional study was done by Tschorbadjiew (1915). The main reason for including the area is the presence of important populations of 10 of the target species [see a list below], especially Muschampia tessellum and Lycaena ottomanus. It contains the only known localities of Coenonympha oedippus in this country, but the species has not been found ever after.

Target species: Muschampia tessellum, Zerynthia polyxena, Parnassius mnemosyne, Lycaena dispar, L. ottomanus, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Scolitantides orion, Glaucopsyche alexis, Coenonympha oedippus, Brenthis hecate.

Poda, the only place in Bulgaria where Coenonympha oedippus has been recorded (Photo B. Petrov, 16 June 2004).
Poda, the only place in Bulgaria where Coenonympha oedippus has been recorded

Protection & threats: The region comprises the Poda protected area (declared as such in 1989). It also has a working Information Centre run by Poda protected area, Wetlands, Burgas. There is a strong anthropogenic pressure due to its proximity to Burgas and the big industrial utilities and complexes. An international road to Turkey crosses the eastern part of the region, leading to greater pollution with emissions and waste products. Mandra Lake is a main source of industrial waters for the Neftochim Petrolium Refinery. There is also a pipe line, which can cause significant damage in case of accident. There are plans for the construction of two more pipe lines from Burgas, which — if they pass through the region or near it — shall greatly affect the nature protection status of Poda by both their construction and their exploitation and shall seriously increase the risk of an ecological disaster. There have been developed investment plans for the erection of wind power parks. A serious threat is the possibility of setting fires by burning stubbles or by camping holiday makers or fishermen.

Other remarks: Poda was declared a Wetland of international importance according to the Ramsar Convention. Mandra Lake was proclaimed a place of ornithological importance by BirdLife International. 245 bird species have been established up to now, 74 of which are included in Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The region is also a CORINE area due to its European importance for the preservation of rare and endangered species. The moths have not been studied. The only species of conservation importance are Triodia amasinus dobrogensis and Euplagia quadripunctaria. The latter is listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive 92/43 of the European Union.

Map of Poda area
Map of Poda area.