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Áreas Importantes para las Aves - Hadzi Dimitrovo Fish-ponds

Hadzi Dimitrovo Fish-ponds Estado: Veliko Tarnovo
Área: 446,53 ха
Propiedad: state - 44%; municipality - 27%; private - 29%;

Hadzi Dimitrovo fishponds, located in the Middle Danubian Plain to the north of main road E83, on both sides of the Studena Reka river – a tributary to the Yantra River, in the grounds of the villages Alekovo and Hadzi Dimitrovo. It is a complex of two micro-reservoirs and several smaller water basins, turned into fishponds, together with their adjacent wet terrain and arable plots. The open water surface is 195 ha with large areas overgrown with water fringe vegetation, mainly Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, T. latifolia, Scirpus lacustris and Scirpus triqueter both along the banks and sparsely inside. The open water surface is partly covered by Nymphoides peltata, Ceratphyllum demersum, Potamogeton spp., etc. The water debt of the basins varies between 1 and 1,5 ha. The fishponds are surrounded by pastures, arable lands and shrubs. Single old willow and poplar trees still exist around the fishponds.

Hadzi Dimitrovo fishponds supports 116 bird species, 33 of which are listed in the Red Data Book for Bulgaria (1985). Of the birds occurring there 53 species are of European conservation concern (SPEC) (BirdLife International, 2004), 1 of them being listed in category SPEC 1 as globally threatened, 12 in SPEC 2 and 40 in SPEC 3 as species threatened in Europe. The area provides suitable habitats for 36 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 35 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive. The fishponds are one of the most important sites in the country on European Union scale for 4 species of waterfowl that breed there in considerable numbers – the globally threatened Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus, Black Tern Chlidonias niger and the Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. The Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus is represented in the fishponds with good breeding population. It is also regular hunting area for the White-tailed Eagle Haliaetus albicilla. Numerous waterbirds use the fishponds as migration stopover site and during the winter. The Great Snipe Gallinago media occurs there in significant numbers during the migration.

The extensive way of fish production, which allow appearance of water floating and water fringe vegetation is crucial for the value of the area. Intensification of fish production will cause deterioration of the key habitats for birds. The biggest impacts on the wetland habitats are the drainage of the fishponds because of implemented fishery practice, removal of the reedbeds and clearance of the water floating vegetation. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in the surrounding arable land causes change of the chemistry and the water quality. The intensive hunting pressure during the winter cause significant disturbance to waterbirds.

La protección legal:
About 48% of the territory of Hadzi Dimitrovo fishponds are designated under legal protection in 2005 to protect the threatened bird species. In 2005 the whole area of the fishponds was designated as Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

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