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Chervenata Sténa Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria

Chervenata Stena Biosphere Reserve is characterized by a complex of unique natural values (relief, altitude, composition of basic rocks, soil and climatic conditions) which determine the richness of flora, mycota, fauna and natural habitats represented by a significantly high percentage of protected, endemic and relic species. As a result, the biodiversity of the reserve is with high conservation significance on both national, European and global level. 

Designation date: 1977


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 65,409.399 ha

    • Core area(s): 2,226.643 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 25,387.99 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 37,774.762 ha

    Location: 41°52'N; 24°45'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Plovdiv 
    122, Maritsa Blvd
    4000 Plovdiv

    Tel.: +359 32/623 873 extension 116

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Biosphere Reserve harbours 15 habitats listed in the EU’s Habitats Directive, of which 5 are of priority Community interest – ‘7220 *Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion)’, ‘9180 *Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines’, ‘91E0 *Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)’, ‘91AA *Eastern white oak woods’ and ‘9530 *(Sub-) Mediterranean pine forests with endemic black pines’.

    Eight species of mammals (excluding bats) are included in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria, vol. 2. Animals (2012) with the following national IUCN categories – 4 species are endangered (Ursus arctos, Rupicapra rupicapra, Martes martes and Felis silvestris); 4 species are vulnerable – Vormela peregusna, Lutra lutra, Spermophilus citellus and Canis lupus.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Traditional activities in the nearby villages include agriculture - growing potatos, vineyards, orchards, tobacco, organic farming, etc., small-scale husbandry, fishing, beekeeping, woodworking and woodcarving, etc.

    In the transition zone of the reserve - Bachkovo village organic farms for the production of fruits and vegetables are constructed and organization of eco-vacations – visits to the farms combined with visits to the reserve and Bachkovo monastery are taking place.  

    On the territory of the reserve cultural and religious tourism is developed. Here one of the most famous Bulgarian monasteries – Bachkovo Monastery is situated, a holy spring (ayazmo) and three chapels, which are subject to numerous tourist visits. This is a prerequisite for building in the area of small family hotels and guest houses.


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    Last updated: May 2019