Protected area "Adata-Tundzha"


Adata-Tundzha is located in southern Bulgaria, south of the town of Sliven. It covers the Tundzha River course between Rechitsa residential area and the villages of Mechkarevo, Samuilovo, Panaretovtsi, Gergevets, Glufshievo, Zhelyo Voyvoda and Zavoy.

It is a complex of agricultural plots, meadows with meso-xerothermal grass vegetation interspersed with shrubs, pastures and open grasslands, located on the Tundzha river terraces. The site includes the Tundzha riverbed itself with its clay and sandy banks, as well as the riverine grass, shrub and tree vegetation.

The birds in the protected area

The SPA Adata-Tundzha supports 160 bird species, 36 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The SPA provides suitable habitats for 46 species, included in Annex 2 of the Biodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 40 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

The SPA Adata – Tundzha holds at least 1 breeding pairs of Lesser Spotted Eagle (LSE). The large extent of suitable breeding habitats and trophic base for the LSE are available within the SPA. In this respect, there is probability for higher number of the LSE breeding pairs to be established there.

The SPA is of global importance during the winter as roosting site for the Pygmy Cormorant, and as staging ground for the Great Egret. The area is regularly used during the winter by the Imperial Eagle, which is also threatened on global scale. Adata-Tundzha is one of the most important sites in the country on a European Union scale for the conservation of Tawny Pipit, Great Bittern and Montagu’s Harrier.

Red-footed Falcon is breeding there. The site holds significant breeding population on European scale of the Bee-eater. Other species threatened on European Union territory and Europe as a whole also have representative breeding populations there – the Little Bittern, the Kingfisher, the Roller, the Olive-Three The site is one most important roosting areas for migrating Red-footed Falcons.

Threats to the protected area

Human activities

The area is sensitive to the human activities related mainly to water management, sand and gravel extraction activities, as well as forestry.


Cutting of trees and shrubs along Tundzha River for reason of prevention of floods, afforestation with hybrid poplar, expansion of the sand and gravel extraction, as well as illegal cutting of threes cause deterioration and even loss of valuable habitats for the breeding and roosting of birds.

Use of pesticides

The use of pesticides and chemicals in the
surrounding arable land cause change in the water quality, which reflect to the food base of waterfowl, as well as deteriorates the food quality of the raptor birds.


Because of the easy access of the area there is high disturbance to birds caused by illegal shooting, illegal net fishing and intentional direct disturbance.