Lomovete SPA



The SPA Lomovete is a complex of canyons deeply cut into the plain by the meanders of the Russenski Lom and its tributaries – Cherni, Malki (Svalenishki) and Beli Lom. It is located in the north-western part of the Ludogorie, 20 km south-east of the town of Ruse, between the villages of Ivanovo, Pepelina, Krivnja and Svalenik. The vertical cliffs of the canyons, at places 100 m high, are quite typical for Lomovete. The rocks are interspersed with niches and crevices.

Other major habitats in the region are the forest ones, with prevailing mixed coppice forests of Quercusrobur, Quercus dalechampii, Quercus pubescens and Carpinus orientalis, sometimes mixed with Fraxinus ornus. The mixed forests of Tilia tomentosa and Carpinus betulus or Q. cerris and rich undergrowth are also well represented. Widely spreads are the secondary forests and shrubs of Oriental Hornbeam, Paliurus spina-christi, Siringa vulgaris, etc. Artificial plantations of Acacia Robinia pseudoacacia and Austrian Pine Pinus nigra also occur.

At many places in the valley there are preserved mesophile meadow associations and xerothermal grasslands of Dichantiumischaemum, Poa bulbosa, etc. (Bondev 1991; Georgiev 1993). The riverbanks are overgrown with different willow species Salix spp., Black Poplar and WhitePoplar. Along the valley, mainly around the settlements, there are agricultural plots too.

The birds in the protected area

The region of Lomovete supports 149 bird species, 38 of which are listed in the Red Data Book for Bulgaria (in press). Of the birds occurring there 59 species are of European conservation concern (SPEC) (BirdLife International, 2004), 3 of them being listed in category SPEC 1 as globally threatened, 17 in SPEC 2 and 39 in SPEC 3 as species threatened in Europe. The area provides suitable habitats for 48 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 44 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

The SPA is one of the former main breeding sites of the Saker Falcon in Bulgaria and being close to the Pannonian population of the species is now very promising area for the natural recolonization of the species. In addition, having an administration (the staff of "Rusenski Lom" Nature park, including wardens and budget for management activities), is a guarantee for sustainability of the envisaged for the area conservation measures.

Lomovete holds the biggest breeding population in the country of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea. It is one of the most important sites in the country also for the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) and the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) (Appendix 11). The Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), the Roller (Coracias garrulus), the Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), the Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) and the Barred Warbler (Sylvia nisoria) breed there in considerable numbers.

The Valley of Russenski Lom River is the most western part of the Via Pontica migration route, which is used mainly by raptors. It is one of the main corridors where migrating Saker Falcons from Hungary, Slovakia and Romania enter Bulgaria on its way to the south.

Threats to the protected area

  • Disturbance
    The area is sensitive to human activities which cause disturbance to birds, especially to those which nests on the rocks–rock climbing, gliding, hang-gliding, illegal ltreasure hunting, tourism activities during the breeding season, as well as poaching.
  • Human activities
    Intensive forestry activities in the vicinity of the breeding territories, as well as illegal cutting affect the structure and quality of forest habitats and disturb the breeding individuals. Fires, continuing urbanization and turning the grasslands to arable lands are the main reason for fragmentation and loss of valuable habitats.