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

Rila bufer

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:2019-04
National legal reference of SPA designationSite classified as SPA by Council of Ministers Decision No.177/03.04.2019 (promulgated SG 29/2019)
Explanation(s):Site classified as SPA by Council of Ministers Decision No.177/03.04.2019 (promulgated SG 29/2019)


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
BG42Yuzhen tsentralen

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Alpine (100.00 %)


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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.
BA223Aegolius funereus    55  55 
BA091Aquila chrysaetos   
BA104Bonasa bonasia    125  125 
BA215Bubo bubo   
BA224Caprimulgus europaeus    83  83 
BA080Circaetus gallicus   
BA122Crex crex    41  41  males 
BA239Dendrocopos leucotos    16  16 
BA238Dendrocopos medius    50  50 
BA236Dryocopus martius    10  10 
BA103Falco peregrinus   
BA217Glaucidium passerinum   
BA338Lanius collurio    1037  1037 
BA246Lullula arborea    128  128 
BA072Pernis apivorus   
BA241Picoides tridactylus   
BA108Tetrao urogallus    20  20  males 
  • 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
  • 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

SPA „Rila bufer“ covers the lower parts of the Rila Mountain, along the boundaries of Rila National Park and Rilski Manastir Nature Park (coinciding with the same named Natura 2000 sites) and almost entirely falls within the „Rila“ IBA. It covers mainly old coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests, which occupy about 76% of its territory. Coniferous forests are represented by Pinus peuce, Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris and Abies alba. In the deciduous forests prevails the beech (Fagus sylvatica). Mixed beech-coniferous forests also can be met. Open habitats, including natural meadows, pastures with shrubs, transitional habitats and agricultural areas, occupy the rest of the site. The rock complexes and water areas are poorly-represented - they occupy less than 2% of its territory. About 90% of the presented ecosystems are of natural origin.

4.2 Quality and importance

BG0002129 „Rila bufer“ is a functionally inseparable part of „Rila“ IBA and provides suitable habitats for 17 endangered bird species that are typical for the old forests and open spaces which are specific and representative for the Rila Mountain (Table 1). The site is one of the most important places at national level for typical species with limited distribution in the country - Aegolius funereus (8.1% of the national population), Glaucidium passerinum (5.1%), Picoides tridactylus (2,1%) and Tetrastes bonasia (3.7%). The designation of the site improves the coverage of the national populations of species whose national coverage in the Natura 2000 network is generally around or below average: Crex crex ( from 29% in Natura 2000 before the update to 30% with the new site), Circaetus gallicus (from 54% to 57%), Aquila chrysaetos (from 56% to 57%), Falco peregrinus (from 62% to 64%), Dendrocopos leucotos (from 54% to 55%). Significant improvement of the national coverage that changes the coverage rate from medium to good is reported for Aegolius funereus (from 68% to 76%) and Picoides tridactylus (69% to 71%). With the adoption of SPA “Rila bufer” the main habitats of Bonasa bonasia, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos leucotos and Circaetus gallicus in Rila IBA will be protected as well as a significant part of the habitats of the Picoides tridactylus and Crex crex. Functionally Aquila chrysaetos inhabits the entire territory of the Rila IBA and the territory of BG0002129 is an important part of its habitats. It includes part of the hunting areas of the Golden eagles breeding in BG0000495 Rila as well as a nest of a pair of this specie. In SPA “Rila bufer” are the largest habitats of Glaucidium passerinum in Rila IBA (in the Malyovishki part of Rila, in the southeast and southwest Rila) and Aegolius funereus in Rila IBA (in Malyovishki part of Rila, the Belmeken (Northeastern Rila) and the Southwest Rila. In the Malyovishki part of Rila IBA which is part of SPA “Rila bufer” the three pairs of Picoides tridactylus are found. The habitats in the proposed SPA “Rila bufer” are mainly influenced by human activities related to forestry, tourism development and water use. Forest habitats are heavily influenced by intensive forestry activities as well as by burning of forests. The constructing of new forest roads fragments the habitats of Dendrocopos leucotos and Picoides tridactylus which need large non-fragmented forests. A tunnel system has been built in the mountains to transfer water from one water catchment pool to another. Waters below 2000 m altitude are to large extent caught in this system which affects unfavorable the forest ecosystems. Large investment projects for the construction of ski resorts and the maintenance facilities threaten the complete destruction of the quality forest habitats of high-mountain meadows and pastures. Direct threats to birds are poaching (taking small ones and eggs from nests of raptors, shooting of day and night raptors, Bonasa bonasia and Tetrao urogallus); disturbance of the nesting of the birds from motor vehicles traffic including off-road e.t.c.

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

4.5 Documentation

Proposal and description of the site made by Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Bulgaria, 1111 Sofia, P.O.Box 50, Yavorov complex, bl. 71, entry 4, floor 1, To determine the ornithological significance of SPA “Rila bufer” territory ornithological data on the basis of which Rila IBA was defined in the period up to 2005 as well as new data summarized in the analysis provided by the MOEW in 2010, were used, as follows: BSPB. 2010. Information on the territories of six ornithologically important sites remaining outside the Birds Protection Network in relation to infringement procedure 2007/4850 on the European Commission's inventory. Part I: RIA IBA (IBA BG055) - assessment to the Rila SPA "BG0000495" of the newly proposed sites for inclusion in Natura 2000 and the remaining unpublished parts of the IBA - report submitted to the MOEW Kostadinova, I., M. Gramatikov (ref.). 2007. Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria and Natura 2000. BSPB, 11, Sofia, 639 p. (In Bulgarian and English). Michev, T., Ts. Petrov, L. Profirov, P. Yankov, S. Gavrailov. 1989. Dissemination and conservation status of the rock eagle Aquila chrysaetos chrysaetos (L.), 1758 in Bulgaria. - Exc. music. U. Bulgaria, 15, 79-87 .; Nikolov, B., I. Hristov, P. Shurulinkov, I. Nikolov, A. Rogev, A. Dutsov, R. Stanchev. 2001. New data on some poorly studied species of owls (Strix uralensis, Glaucidium passerinum, Aegolius funereus) in Bulgaria. - Forest Science, Kn. 1/2, 75-86 .; Petrov, Ts., P. Yankov, T. Mitchev, B. Milchev, L. Profirov. 1991. Distribution, number and conservation measures of black stork, Ciconia nigra (L.) in Bulgaria. - Exc. music. U. Bulgaria, T. 17, 25-32 .; Simeonov, S., T. Mitchev. 1985. Contemporary distribution and number of owls (Bubo bubo (L.) in Bulgaria - Ecology, 15, 60-65 .; MOEW. 1998. CORINE Biotopes Database of sites of European Importance for biodiversity. Bulgaria, MOSV (unpublished); Nankinov, D. 1997b. Status of Tengmalms Owl, Aegolius funereus, in Bulgaria. - Riv. ital. Orn., Milano, 66, 2, 127-136; Shurulinkov, P. S., B. P. Nikolov, G. P. Stoyanov, I. P. Nikolov. 2003. Erstes sicheres Brüten des Karmingimpels in Bulgarien - Orn. Mitt., 55, 4: 122-127; In addition, new data were used on the White-backed Woodpecker and the Three-toed Woodpecker gathered in the period 2013-2014 under project "Action plans for the Western Capercaillie, Three-toed and White-backed woodpeckers" under Operational Program "Environment 2007-2013".


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
BG05Rilski Manastir/0.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
otherRila IBA-100.00


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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:

Organisation:Ministry of Environment and Water
Organisation:Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Pernik
Organisation:Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Pazardzhik
Organisation:Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Blagoevgrad
Organisation:Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Sofia
Organisation:East Aegean River Basin Directorate - Plovdiv
Organisation:Basin Directorate for Water Management in Danube Region – Pleven
Organisation:West Aegean River Basin Directorate - Blagoevgrad

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation



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