Belite skali SPA



The site is located in north-eastern Bulgaria, on the Black Sea coast between Balchik and Kavarna. It covers a south-eastern part of the Dobrudzha plateau, the coastal cliff and the adjacent shallow littoral area. To the north it borders on the Balchik - Kavarna road. The southernmost part of the Dobrudzha Plateau south of the road to Kavarna is covered by dry steppe grass vegetation. The substratum is sedimental - marl and Sarmatian limestones.

The coast is vertical, with several terraces. It is cut by deep gorges and valleys covered by shrubs and broadleaved forests. The lower terraces are covered by xerophyle and steppic communities of Artemisia lerchiana, Agropyron pectiniforme and Bromus ziparii. The upper terraces are covered by mesoxerothermal communities of Poa bulbosa, Lolium perenne and Cynodon dactylon. The seashore is narrow. There are many screes and landslides, caused by the erosive action of the sea. Close to Balchik there is a firth lake - Balchishka Tuzla. The wetland is partly overgrown with water fringe vegetation, dominated by reeds Phragmites australis. There are a lot of rare plant species recorded in the area of Belite skali.

Birds in the protected area

Belite Skali supports 91 bird species, 27 of which are listed in the Red Data Book for Bulgaria. Of the birds occurring there 48 species are of European conservation concern (SPEC, 4 of them being listed in category SPEC 1 as globally threatened, 16 in SPEC 2 and 28 in SPEC 3 as species threatened in Europe. The area provides suitable habitats for 40 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 39 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive. It is also one of the most important sites in the country on European Union scale for the conservation of the breeding Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla, Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria and the Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleshanka. The site holds representative breeding populations of the Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra and the Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria.

Saker Falcon Falco cherrug is recorded to regularly migrate through Belite Skali SPA. Targeted studies during the period 2008 - 2013 confirmed that the area is important migration and stop over site for the birds from Romania and Ukraine. LIFE09NAT/HU/000384 project allocated Belite Skali as an important area for the juvenile birds.

Belite Skali is a typical bottleneck migration site of global importance for the soaring storks, pelicans and birds of prey, especially for the White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus and the Buzzard Buteo buteo. The raptors often overnight in the area.

Threats to the protected area

  • Human activities
    Urbanization, tourism, illegal deposition of waste cause fragmentation, deterioration and large scale loss of habitats.
  • Wind turbine farms
    The SPA is particularly sensitive development of wind farms
  • Fire
    Forest habitats are threatened by fires