Swis Nature

Persina Nature Park -

One of the pearls of Lower Danube

In the lower course of the Danube River in Bulgaria there is a real string of valuable natural areas that preserve unique ecosystems vital for people and nature of Europe. One of the pearls in this string is Persina Nature Park.

The park is located along the Svishtov-Belene lowlands and includes some of the surrounding steep shores near Nikopol and Svishtov as well as all Bulgarian Danube Islands in this part of the Danube River.

Its total area of 21 762.2 ha falls within the territory of three Danube municipalities – Nikopol, Belene and Svishtov.

The most important lands from the perspective of nature conservation are those located on islands and forests along 200 meter strip of the Danube. Persina covers areas of Svishtov-Belene lowlands as well as some lands from Nikopol Plateau which are Natura 2000 sites. Within the Park’s territory there are four sites under the Birds Directive of NATURA 2000. The Park itself (all territory) is a NATURA 2000 site under the Habitat Directive.

Persina Nature Park is unique for Bulgaria. Its designation aims at conservation and restoration of Danube wetlands. Special attention is paid to the numerous islands and their natural status.

There are two islands groups, within the park boundaries – Nikopol’s and Belene Islands Complex.

Belene Islands Complex is formed from a few islands. The most important ecosystem types in the complex are the flooded riverine forests and inland (internal) marshes. Part of this island formation is Persin Island (known also as Belene Island). Persin Island is the largest Bulgarian island in the Danube and the only one with four freshwater marshes. Its length is 15 km and in width is reaches 6 km. Because of its uniqueness and high importance Belene Islands Complex was proclaimed a Ramsar site – wetland with international importance for biodiversity conservation. The complex is one of the largest Ramsar sites in Bulgaria – 6 898 ha.

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