Shabla Lake and Ezerets Lake – Photos and information

Shabla Lake is mainly associated with the two adjacent coastal lakes of Firth type – Shabla and Ezeretz that are connected by an artificial canal. To the east the Lake is separated from the sea by a short stretch of sand dunes. A big part of the lake is within the government residence of Shabla. The shores of the lake are almost entirely reeded /with Phragmites australis/ and covered with Fernleaf / Typha angustifolia / and broadleaf cattail /Typha latifolia/. The reedbeds are the main habitat for the birds in the complex. The open waters are also significant in size. The lake is fed exclusively by groundwater. To the north of the Shabla Lake ther are small plantations of white locust / Robinia pseudoacacia / and American ash / Fraxinus americana /, and to the south – poplar plantations.

PHOTOS OF SHABLA LAKE COMPLEX

Birds

On the territory of the Shabla Lake Complex 260 species are found, 70 of which are listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria (1985). 111 species are of European conservation importance (SPEC) (BirdLife International, 2004). As globally endangered in the category SPEC1 there are 13 species included, and as endangered in Europe relevantly in the category SPEC2 – 26 species in SPEC3 – 72 species. The area provides suitable habitat for 90 species listed in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which requires special protection measures. Of these, 86 are also listed in Annex I to Directive 79/409 of EEC. The complex is of strategic importance for the globally endangered in the winter Red-breasted Goose / Branta ruficollis / and together with Durankulak Lake receive almost its entire world population. During this season large concentrations of White-fronted Goose /Anser albifrons/ and single specimens of the globally endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose /A. erythropus/ are also observed. This fact defines the area as one of the most important wintering grounds in the world for these geese.

On the territory of the Shabla Lake Complex 260 species are found, 70 of which are listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria (1985). 111 species are of European conservation importance (SPEC) (BirdLife International, 2004). As globally endangered in the category SPEC1 there are 13 species included, and as endangered in Europe relevantly in the category SPEC2 – 26 species in SPEC3 – 72 species. The area provides suitable habitat for 90 species listed in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which requires special protection measures. Of these, 86 are also listed in Annex I to Directive 79/409 of EEC. The complex is of strategic importance for the globally endangered in the winter Red-breasted Goose / Branta ruficollis / and together with Durankulak Lake receive almost its entire world population. During this season large concentrations of White-fronted Goose /Anser albifrons/ and single specimens of the globally endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose /A. erythropus/ are also observed. This fact defines the area as one of the most important wintering grounds in the world for these geese.

The lake is one of the places in the country with significant concentrations of Whooper Swan /Cygnus cygnus/ and Mallard /Anas platyrhynchos/, during the winter. The Lake Complex is an important migration station for stork /Ciconiiformes/, geese /Anseriformes/ and plover /Charadriiformes/ birds. In the autumn-winter season a number of globally threatened species such as the Dalmatian Pelican /Pelecanus crispus/, Pygmy Cormorant /Phalacrocorax pygmeus/, Small White-fronted Goose, Ferruginous /A. nyroca/, White-headed /Oxyura leucocephala/ Duck and the Large Spotted Eagle /Aquila clanga/ are observed. The Pygmy Cormorant creates significant concentrations during migration as well as during the winter. In the lakes of Shabla two globally endangered species nest – the Ferruginous Duck /Aythya nyroca/ and the Corncrake /Crex crex/. Many other rare and endangered from extinction birds such as the Kentish Plover /Charadrius alexandrinus/ and Lesser Grey Shrike /Lanius minor/ multiply in significant quantities. The Lake is one of the most important places in the country for the protection of Plover, Collared Pratincole /Glareola pratincola/, Stilt /Himantopus himantopus/, White-fronted Tern /Sterna albifrons/ and Red-footed Falcon /Falco vespertinus/ nesting in the area.

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