Nature park Russenski lom: Fauna
Equally as interesting is the fauna. Just the vertebrates number over 300 species. Among the invertebrates species of special interest are the Carpathian scorpion and the Scolopendra. Among the insects one can find several species of rare and endangered beetles and butterflies.
There are 22 species of fish, crabs, snails and river mussels in the river.
Ten species of amphibians (5 of which protected) and 19 species of reptiles live in the valley. Of special zoological and geographical importance is the night lizard, the only representative of geckoes in Bulgaria and the legless lizard. Two species of terrestrial tortoise and some species of reptiles also occur.
The park is truly a paradise for birders. Many threatened and endangered birds of Europe can be seen in the park. Because of this the river basins have been declared as ornithological important places (OIP). Many rock cavities, ledges, cave entrees and platforms present ideal conditions for rock-nesting birds like Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Ruddy Shelduck, Saker, Rock Dove, Eagle Owl and others.
Of all birds recorded in the park until now, 172 are protected. Rock, water, forest and meadow combine to make habitable conditions for many more birds like Hawk, Honey Buzzard, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl and Herons. Almost all species of woodpeckers can be heard in the woods. Of all 190 species of birds living in the park, 110 nest here. The rest are migratory, winter guests or accidental visitors.
An interesting fact is that in Middle Europe black storks nest in old trees in forests, in Bulgaria they nest almost exclusively on rocks.
The Long-legged Buzzard came to Europe from Asia Minor in the middle of 20th century. Now its range includes only the Balkan Peninsula, so this bird is of great interest for European ornithologists.
Representatives of water-loving birds can be seen near the many fish farms in The Roussenski Lom basin and near Rousse.
Especially attractive are the Egyptian Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard and Lesser Spotted Eagle nesting here. In addition to them, different species of Hawks, Falcons and Eagles nest in the park.
Other interesting features of the park’s avian life are the nocturnal birds, among which the Eagle Owl is the most important. In spring and summer the following migratory bird species live here: Scops Owl, Long-eared Owl, Tawny Owl. Rare in Europe but widely distributed in the park are attractive little birds like Roller, Bee-eater and Hoopoe.
Of all 92 species of mammals living in Bulgaria 66 are found here. Among them are 25 species of strictly protected bats, 20 species of which are living in the caves.
The park is a natural breeding area of deer and wild boar. Wolves, foxes and other predators also inhabit the park.