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[34] Shabla

Dobrich District
NATURA 2000: Lycaena dispar

Coordinates: 28° 33’ 58’’ E, 43° 34’ 16’’ N — Altitude: 1 m — Area: 959 ha

Description: It is situated around Shablensko and Ezeretsko freshwater lakes, connected by an artificial canal, and around Shablenska Tuzla Lake, located upon Sarmatian limestones in Northeast Bulgaria, 5 km northeast to the town of Shabla. The shores of the lakes are marshy and grown with large formations mainly consisting of Phragmites australis, as well as some Typha angustifolia, Typha latifolia, Carex riparia and in some places Iris pseudacorus. Shablenska Tuzla is a low-salted lagoon, cut off from the sea by high dunes. The sand beaches grown with psammophytic vegetation are also an important locality.

The region has been studied well enough. The investigations are described by Beshkov & Abadjiev (2000). The reasons for its inclusion are the presence of one of the main and strongest populations of Lycaena dispar in Bulgaria and its potential as a promising region for the establishment of other target species in future investigations.

Target species: Lycaena dispar.

Rich vegetation near Shablensko Ezero Lake. Habitat of Lycaena dispar (Photo S. Beshkov).
Rich vegetation near Shablensko Ezero Lake

Protection & threats: The whole territory around the lakes with the belonging sand strip and forest parts are included in the government residence. The main threats are the construction plans for new recreation and tourist homes and wind power parks. A serious threat is the danger of setting fires by people camping or pouching. The massive human presence of camping holiday makers and fishermen leads to ruderalisation and destruction of the natural psammophytic vegetation as a result of increased pollution by organic waste.

Other remarks: Shabla Lake has been declared a Wetland of international importance according to the Ramsar Convention. The territory was defined as an Important Bird Area under the criteria of BirdLife International. 260 bird species have been established up to now, 70 of which are included in Red Data Book of Bulgaria. Moth species of conservation importance: Triodia amasinus dobrogensis, Eupithecia variostrigata, Eupithecia biornata, Eupithecia ochridata, Oxicesta geographica, Simyra albovenosa, Schrankia costaestrigalis, Drasteria caucasica, Cucullia asteris, Proxenus lepigone, Archanara dissoluta, Agrotis vestigialis, Pelosia obtusa, Rhyparioides metelkana. From them Eupithecia biornata and Rhyparioides metelkana are known in Bulgaria with only a single specimen from Shabla Lake. Some of the established species are at their origin stage and Shabla is the end point of their habitat or their distribution on the Balkan Peninsula.

Map of Shabla area
Map of Shabla area.