Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

Varnensko-Beloslavsko ezero

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:Ministry of Environment and Water, “National Nature Protection Service” Directorate
Address:  Sofia  22    Sofia    1000  Kn. Maria Luiza Blvd.

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:2007-12
National legal reference of SPA designationSite classified as SPA by Council of Ministers Decision No. 802/04.12.2007 (promulgated SG 107/2007).
Explanation(s):Site classified as SPA by Council of Ministers Decision No. 802/04.12.2007 (promulgated SG 107/2007). Issued designation order by the Minister of Environment and Water with prohibitions and restrictions on activities contradicting the conservation objectives of the site – Order No. RD – 128/10.02.2012 (promulgated SG 22/2012).


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km] (optional):

No information provided

2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Black Sea (75.70 %) Continental (24.30 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

No habitat types are reported for the site

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA086Accipiter nisus       
BA086Accipiter nisus    21   
BA168Actitis hypoleucos       
BA168Actitis hypoleucos     
BA229Alcedo atthis          DD 
BA229Alcedo atthis     
BA054Anas acuta       
BA054Anas acuta    15   
BA056Anas clypeata    25   
BA056Anas clypeata       
BA052Anas crecca    112   
BA052Anas crecca      252   
BA050Anas penelope      17   
BA050Anas penelope       
BA053Anas platyrhynchos     
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    15  1058   
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    24  1408   
BA055Anas querquedula    18  87   
BA051Anas strepera     
BA051Anas strepera      45   
BA051Anas strepera    50  500   
BA041Anser albifrons      316   
BA041Anser albifrons      48   
BA043Anser anser       
BA042Anser erythropus       
BA039Anser fabalis       
BA039Anser fabalis     
BA255Anthus campestris          DD 
BA255Anthus campestris          DD 
BA089Aquila pomarina          DD 
BA028Ardea cinerea    30  100   
BA028Ardea cinerea      77   
BA029Ardea purpurea     
BA024Ardeola ralloides     
BA059Aythya ferina      288   
BA059Aythya ferina    965   
BA059Aythya ferina       
BA061Aythya fuligula    149   
BA061Aythya fuligula      74   
BA060Aythya nyroca       
BA060Aythya nyroca     
BA021Botaurus stellaris       
BA021Botaurus stellaris          DD 
BA021Botaurus stellaris     
BA396Branta ruficollis     
BA133Burhinus oedicnemus     
BA087Buteo buteo     
BA087Buteo buteo    18   
BA403Buteo rufinus       
BA403Buteo rufinus          DD 
BA149Calidris alpina     
BA149Calidris alpina    17   
BA145Calidris minuta       
BA145Calidris minuta    40  70   
BA138Charadrius alexandrinus    23   
BA138Charadrius alexandrinus     
BA136Charadrius dubius     
BA136Charadrius dubius          DD 
BA198Chlidonias leucopterus    10  30   
BA197Chlidonias niger      200   
BA031Ciconia ciconia    3000  50000   
BA031Ciconia ciconia     
BA030Ciconia nigra          DD 
BA081Circus aeruginosus    14   
BA081Circus aeruginosus     
BA081Circus aeruginosus     
BA082Circus cyaneus       
BA082Circus cyaneus       
BA083Circus macrourus       
BA084Circus pygargus          DD 
BA231Coracias garrulus     
BA038Cygnus cygnus      95   
BA036Cygnus olor      29   
BA036Cygnus olor    70   
BA429Dendrocopos syriacus          DD 
BA429Dendrocopos syriacus          DD 
BA027Egretta alba    20   
BA027Egretta alba       
BA026Egretta garzetta    70   
BA026Egretta garzetta     
BA511Falco cherrug          DD 
BA511Falco cherrug       
BA098Falco columbarius       
BA099Falco subbuteo          DD 
BA096Falco tinnunculus       
BA096Falco tinnunculus     
BA097Falco vespertinus    55   
BA321Ficedula albicollis    1000  1000     
BA320Ficedula parva    2000  2000   
BA125Fulica atra    805  8461   
BA125Fulica atra          DD 
BA125Fulica atra    4115   
BA153Gallinago gallinago          DD 
BA153Gallinago gallinago       
BA123Gallinula chloropus          DD 
BA123Gallinula chloropus    25   
BA123Gallinula chloropus     
BA002Gavia arctica       
BA002Gavia arctica     
BA001Gavia stellata       
BA001Gavia stellata       
BA127Grus grus       
BA127Grus grus    140  140   
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    10   
BA075Haliaeetus albicilla       
BA092Hieraaetus pennatus     
BA131Himantopus himantopus    15  26   
BA131Himantopus himantopus    30  30   
BA131Himantopus himantopus       
BA022Ixobrychus minutus          DD 
BA022Ixobrychus minutus    10  10   
BA338Lanius collurio          DD 
BA338Lanius collurio    200  200   
BA339Lanius minor          DD 
BA339Lanius minor    10  10   
BA184Larus argentatus       
BA459Larus cachinnans    38  400   
BA459Larus cachinnans    56  1301   
BA182Larus canus       
BA182Larus canus      12   
BA176Larus melanocephalus    200  200   
BA176Larus melanocephalus    30   
BA177Larus minutus          DD 
BA177Larus minutus       
BA179Larus ridibundus    14  1000   
BA179Larus ridibundus    120  967   
BA156Limosa limosa    50   
BA246Lullula arborea          DD 
BA246Lullula arborea     
BA246Lullula arborea          DD 
BA152Lymnocryptes minimus          DD 
BA068Mergus albellus      13   
BA070Mergus merganser    41   
BA069Mergus serrator          DD 
BA069Mergus serrator      20   
BA230Merops apiaster    100  100   
BA230Merops apiaster          DD 
BA073Milvus migrans          DD 
BA058Netta rufina       
BA058Netta rufina    36   
BA160Numenius arquata     
BA160Numenius arquata          DD 
BA023Nycticorax nycticorax      37   
BA023Nycticorax nycticorax          DD 
BA071Oxyura leucocephala       
BA094Pandion haliaetus     
BA020Pelecanus crispus    30  30   
BA020Pelecanus crispus       
BA019Pelecanus onocrotalus       
BA019Pelecanus onocrotalus    65  550   
BA072Pernis apivorus    10  10   
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    65  550   
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    1362   
BA393Phalacrocorax pygmeus    200  333   
BA393Phalacrocorax pygmeus    186  2492   
BA170Phalaropus lobatus       
BA170Phalaropus lobatus       
BA151Philomachus pugnax    97   
BA034Platalea leucorodia    90  90   
BA034Platalea leucorodia       
BA032Plegadis falcinellus    75   
BA141Pluvialis squatarola          DD 
BA141Pluvialis squatarola          DD 
BA007Podiceps auritus     
BA005Podiceps cristatus    22   
BA005Podiceps cristatus    938   
BA006Podiceps grisegena     
BA008Podiceps nigricollis    133   
BA008Podiceps nigricollis    50  760   
BA120Porzana parva     
BA118Rallus aquaticus     
BA118Rallus aquaticus       
BA118Rallus aquaticus    16   
BA132Recurvirostra avosetta    13  13   
BA132Recurvirostra avosetta    25  80   
BA249Riparia riparia    1000  1000   
BA193Sterna hirundo       
BA193Sterna hirundo    10  100   
BA191Sterna sandvicensis    10  100   
BA004Tachybaptus ruficollis    16  240   
BA004Tachybaptus ruficollis          DD 
BA004Tachybaptus ruficollis    12  326   
BA397Tadorna ferruginea       
BA397Tadorna ferruginea     
BA048Tadorna tadorna       
BA048Tadorna tadorna    30   
BA048Tadorna tadorna     
BA161Tringa erythropus    14   
BA161Tringa erythropus       
BA166Tringa glareola    16  326   
BA164Tringa nebularia          DD 
BA165Tringa ochropus       
BA165Tringa ochropus    16   
BA163Tringa stagnatilis     
BA163Tringa stagnatilis       
BA162Tringa totanus       
BA162Tringa totanus    23  46   
BA142Vanellus vanellus    95   
BA142Vanellus vanellus    26   
BA142Vanellus vanellus          DD 
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
A247Alauda arvensis                   
A218Athene noctua               
A263Bombycilla garrulus               
A366Carduelis cannabina                   
A363Carduelis chloris                   
A347Corvus monedula    120  120             
A113Coturnix coturnix                   
A240Dendrocopos minor               
A377Emberiza cirlus                   
A269Erithacus rubecula                   
A359Fringilla coelebs    65  65             
A360Fringilla montifringilla    15  15             
A244Galerida cristata                   
A251Hirundo rustica                   
A271Luscinia megarhynchos                   
A383Miliaria calandra    300  300             
A329Parus caeruleus                   
A235Picus viridis    10  10             
A276Saxicola torquata               
A353Sturnus roseus    500  1000             
A311Sylvia atricapilla    400  400             
A283Turdus merula    650  650             
A285Turdus philomelos    250  250             
A284Turdus pilaris    500  500             
A282Turdus torquatus               
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

The Varna – Beloslav lake complex includes two lakes, Varna and Beloslav, connected by an artificial canal and located to the west of the city of Varna. Varna Lake is a coastal firth lake with natural origin. In the past it has been a freshwater basin with weak connection to Beloslav Lake to the west and low outflow towards the sea. In 1909 the first canal between Varna Lake and the sea was dug. Until 1923 Beloslav Lake was a closed freshwater firth, accepting the waters of the Provadiiska River. Later the development of several industrial complexes in the region necessitated the use of the two lakes for shipping, which led to the digging of two new canals – one connecting Varna Lake with the Black Sea and a second one, connecting the two lakes. The open water areas prevail in the complex. The broad connection with the Black Sea has resulted in the increased water salinity of both lakes, bringing the ecological conditions there close to those of the adjacent marine area. The northern part of Varna Lake (Kazashko Protected Area) and the western part of Beloslav Lake are occupied by reedbeds, dominated by Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia and Shoenoplectus litoralis. The reedbeds in the western part of Beloslav Lake are quite extensive, gradually giving way to wet and swampy meadows. To the north of them there is a saline water basin with banks overgrown with Salicornia sp. and other halophyte vegetation.

4.2 Quality and importance

Varna - Beloslav Lake Complex is a site of international importance for the wintering waterfowl. Every year more than 20,000 waterfowl of 64 species concentrate there. The complex territory supports 202 bird species, 59 of which are listed in the Red Data Book for Bulgaria (1985). Of the birds occurring there 91 species are of European conservation concern (SPEC) (BirdLife International, 2004), 7 of them being listed in category SPEC 1 as globally threatened, 21 in SPEC 2 and 63 in SPEC 3 as species threatened in Europe. The area provides suitable habitats for 70 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 64 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive. Beloslav lake hosts the fourth biggest breeding population of the Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in the country, after those in Atanasovsko and Pomorie lakes and Poda Protected Area. The Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus breeds there in considerable numbers. The Varna – Beloslav Lake Complex is the only wetland between the Durankulak and Shabla lakes to the north and the Burgas lakes to the south, which are 200 km apart. Because of this it is exceptionally important for the birds during migration and is a bottleneck migration site for the White Stork Ciconia ciconia. In this period, as well as in winter, the complex is of global importance for the Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus. Since they do not freeze in winter, the lakes are preferred as a wintering site by different ducks, cormorants and other waterfowl. The Pochard Aythya ferina also forms concentrations of international importance. The globally threatened species which occur there are the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus and Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca during migration, and the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala in winter.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.4 Ownership (optional)

No information provided

4.5 Documentation (optional)

Initial proposal and description of the site made by Sergei Dereliev, Dimitar Georgiev, Dr. Petar Iankov - Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Bulgaria, 1111 Sofia, P.O.Box 50, phone (+359 2) 9715855, fax (+359 2) 9715856, www.bspb.orgData revised by a team of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences ( Agrolesproekt. 1995. Forestry Management plan of the Forestry Department of Dobrich, Varna District. Vol. I. Identification and Mapping of the forest types and determination of the optimum future structure of the forests.; Vol. Iia., Vol. III., Hunting Management. Sofia; (In Bulgarian).Agrolesproekt. 1998. Forestry Management plan of the Forestry Department of Tervel, Varna District.. Sofia; (In Bulgarian).BDZP/BirdLife Balgariya. 2005. “Nacionalna banka za ornitologichna informacia 1988-2005”, Balgarsko Druzhestvo za zastita na pticite;Botev, B. and Tz. Peshev, (eds). 1985. Red Data Book of Republic Bulgaria. 2: Animals. Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Science. (In Bulgarian.);Kostadinova, I. (sust.) 1997. Ornitologichno vazhni mesta v Bulgaria. BDZP, Prirodozashtitna poredica. Kniga 1, BDZP, Sofia, 176 s.;Kostadinova, I., S.Dereliev. 2001. Results the Mid-Winter Counts of Waterbirds in Bulgaria for the period 1997- 2001. BSPB Conservation Series. Book 3, BSPB, Sofia, BGMarinov, M. 1995. Novo gnezdovo nahodishte na sablekliun (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Neophron, 1, 18.;MOSV. 2005. Arhiv na zastitenite teritorii v Balgaria. Baza danni (nepubl.);Nikolov, Hr., S. Marin, A. Darakchiev. 1999. Malkiat kormoran v Bulgaria. Razprostranenie, chislenost I zaplahi. – Nauch. Tr. Plov. Univ., Animalia, 35, 6, 67-81.;Petkov, N. 1997a. Kachulata potapnica (Aythya fuligula). – Za pticite, 2 (esen/zima), 13.;Petkov, N. 1997b. Suvremenno sustoianie na belookata potapnica (Aythya nyroca) v Bulgaria. Diplomna rabota, Biologicheski Fakultet pri SU “Sv. Kl. Ohridski”, Sofia, 104 s.;Petrov, .C 1997b. Beliat shturkel (Ciconia ciconia) v Bulgaria. Prirodozashtitna poredica, Kniga 2, BDZP, Plovdiv.;Iankov, P. 2002.(red.). Svetovno zastrasheni vidove ptici v Bulgaria. Nacionalni planove za dejstvie za opazvaneto im. Chast 1. BDZP-MOSV, Prirodozashtitna poredica, Kn. 4, Sofia: 204-219.;***. 2005. District of Varna. Development Strategy 2005 – 2015, 136 pp. (In Bulgarian);***. 2000. District Development Plan 2000-2006. Summary. Varna District. 25 pp. (In Bulgarian);BirdLife International. 2000. Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, 695pp.Birdlife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: Population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: Birdlife International (Birdlife Conservation Series No. 12).373pp.;BSPB/BirdLife International. 2005. World Bird Database – Important Birds Areas.Bulgaria. Cambridge. (unpublished);Dereliev, S. 1999. Draft Management Plan for Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex. ICWM, Watc/Riza, the Netherlands, 49 pp.;Dimitrov, M, D. Georgiev, S. Mikhov, S. Dereliev, I. Kostadinova, 2003. Bulgaria. In: Marushevsky, G., Directory of Azov-Black Sea Coastal Wetlands. Wetlands International, Kyiv, 16-45;Guidelines for evaluation of protected zones according, which include habitats for birds to art.7, par.3, under the art.6 par.1.3 and 1.4 of the Biodiversity Act. 2005. (In Bulgarian.);Heath, M.F. and Evans, M.I., eds. 2000. Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation, vol. 2 Southern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8).;Iankov, P., N. Petkov, A. Kovachev, D. Plachiisky. (in print). Pygmy Cormorant in Bulgaria 2001/2002. Final Report.;Kostadinova, I., M. Mihailov, (comp.) 2002. Guide for NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria. BSPB nature conservation series No5. BSPB, Sofia, 80pp. (In Bulgarian.);Kostadinova, I. 2005. Application of C criteria for Identification of Important Bird Areas of European Union importance in Bulgaria. Preliminarily implementation and analysis of the gaps. – In: Petrova, A. (ed.), Current state of Bulgarian biodiversity – problems and perspectives. Pp. 533-548. Bulgarian Bioplatform, SofiaMichev, T., Tz. Petrov, L. Profirov. 1989. Status, breeding, distribution, numbers and conservation of the White Stork in Bulgaria;MOEW. 1998. CORINE Biotopes Database of the sites of European Importance for the biodiversity. Bulgaria, MOSV (nepubl.);Osieck, E. 2000 Filling in the requirements of the EU Birds Directive: Lessons from the ‘Dutch Case’“. In: European IBA Workshop. 29 March - 2 April 2000, Brussels, Belgium. Proceedings. BirdLife International, 86-99;Petkov, N. 1998a. Current Status of the Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) in Bulgaria. – Partimadar, 6-7, MME, Budapest, 44–49.Waliczky, Z. 2000 “Important Bird Areas of European Union Importance: explanation of the EU Criteria applied in IBA 2000“ In: European IBA Workshop. 29 March - 2 April 2000, Brussels, Belgium. Proceedings. BirdLife International, 12-16


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level (optional):

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites (optional):

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other IBA=100.00

5.3 Site designation (optional)

So far 25% of the Varna - Beloslav Lakes Complex is protected by the national nature conservation law. In 1995 a part of the reedbed in north-east part of Varna Lake and a 200 m wide strip of the lake aquatory along the bank was designated as a protected area, category Protected Site, named “Kazashko” (totally 125.1 ha - 25.86 reedbed + 99.27 lake aquatory). There is no a management plan for the protected site. In 1997 it was designated as Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. In 1998 the area was designated also as CORINE Site because of its European value for threatened birds.


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water -Varna;Black Sea River Basin Directorate;

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

No information provided



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