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Tchoupréné Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria

Tchoupréné Biosphere Reserve is situated on the northern slopes of the Stara Planina on the Serbia and Montenegro’s border in north-west Bulgaria. It covers an area of 1981,5 hectares between 1300 and 2033 meters above sea level.

Designation date: 1977


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 1,982 ha

    • Core area(s): 1,452 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 553 ha
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 43°43'N; 22°30'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water
    4, Yulius Irasek Str., P. O. Box 55
    3400 Montana

    Tel.: +359 (96) 23 945

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The reserve was established in 1973 and the biosphere reserve in 1977 and aims to conserve the northernmost natural forests of Norway spruce (Picea abies) in Bulgaria. This primary forest is about 100 years old and is the only vast spruce forest in the Stara Planina. The forest provides habitat for capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) and nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes).

    The reserve falls in Important Bird Area ‘Western Balkan’, Important Plant Area ‘BGIPA041 Western Balkan’, Special Protection Area of the Natura 2000 network – ‘BG 0002002 Western Balkan’ under the Birds Directive and in the Special Areas of Conservation ‘BG001040 Western Stara Planina and Forebalkan’ under the Habitats Directive.

    The reserve harbours more than 100 species of plants and animals of conservation concern at national level, and ca. 10 species listed in the EU’s Habitats Directive. The area is also of a great significance for the animal diversity, especially for birds and large mammals.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    A marked hiking trail allows visitors to enter in the core zone of the reserve and enjoy the landscapes and the biodiversity. In close proximity to the reserve are Belogradchishki rocks (nominated for the New 7 Wonders of Nature), Belogradchishka fortress, towns and villages with local cuisine and cultural heritage, including Chiprovtsi carpets which last year were added to the world list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO.

    Traditional activities in the nearby villages include agriculture, small-scale husbandry, beekeeping, woodworking, etc.



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    Last updated: May 2019