Nature park Persina: Tourism
Several protected areas are situated in the region studied. Most of them are very important for conservation of valuable and characteristic habitats with the respective animal and plant species:
1. “Persinski blata” nature reserve, 385,2 ha, established 02.12 1981, Order No 1106. All the human activities are prohibited in the reserve and according to its protection regime it is equivalent to IUCN I category. The same order determines buffer zone on 551,8 ha including remnants of riverine forests, poplar plantations and agricultural fields. The reserve is situated on the Persin island and includes three marshes: Peschina, The dead marsh and Dulova bara. The object is of international significance and it is defined as Important Bird Area. Forty-four bird species of European importance could be observed here. The vegetation is of typical marshy character. After the dike construction on the island and irrigation system in the near agricultural fields the status of the reserve is decreasing progressively. The marshes often remain without water during the summer, the Phragmites communities invade the territory, a large amount of organic matter is accumulated. All these facts require urgent measures for improving the situation. At the moment this is impossible because of the strict protection status prohibiting human intervention. This problem could be avoided by applying the procedure stipulated in the Law for Protected Areas – changing the status to maintained reserve.
2. “Kitka reserve” – established 02.12. 1981, Order No 1106, area 24,5 ha. According to its protection regime it is equivalent to IUCN I category. This reserve is an island situated near to the “Persin Island”. It is aimed to conserve riverine forests consisting mainly of willows (Salix spp.) and white poplar (Populus alba).
3. “Persin East” natural monument – established 02.12. 1981, Order No 1106, area 718,9 ha. According to its protection regime it is equivalent to IUCN IV category. The object includes some residuals of riverine forests as well as poplar plantations that are designed to conversion into natural forests by changing the species composition. According to the classifications in the newly issued are Law for Protected Areas, the object should take a category “Protected site” but due to its close disposition to “Persinski blata”, both territories could be united under a status of maintained reserve.
4. “Kajkusha” protected site established 02.08.1972, Order No 438, 240 ha, IV category IUCN. The object is situated about 3 km southern from Belene and represents a wetland in the Svishtov-Belene lowlands. The irrigation constructions in the neighbour agricultural fields caused a strong degradation of this very important in the near past habitat of waterfowl birds. The restoration measures of the object are urgent and necessary.