Description

The area of the SPA covers the easternmost parts of the Balkan Mountain from the village of Panitsovo on the west to cape Emine on the east. To the north it reaches the valley of the Dvoinitsa river and to the south – the villages of Aheloy and Kableshkovo, covering the northernpart of the Burgas bay too. At Cape Emine the seashore is steep and rocky. The shore itself is a narrow gravel strip, above which the cliff towers. The region’s vegetation is dominated byxerothermal grass associations of Dichantium ischaemum, Poa bulbosa, etc. The slopes and ravines are covered by scattered shrubs of Paliurus spina-christi and secondary oak forests Quercus spp. The mountain part is covered mainly by broadleaved forests. The plain part ismainly farmland with isolated spots of natural vegetation and several small wetlands. The site includes also the shallow marine waters of the northern part of Burgas Bay that cover 26% of the area.

The birds in the protected area

The territory of Emine supports 218 bird species, 91 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The area provides suitable habitats for 79 species, included in Annex 2 of theBiodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 73 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

The SPA Emine is one of the most important breeding sites in the country on a European Union scale for the conservation of Lesser Spotted Eagle. The SPA harbor least 3-5 breeding pairs. The SPA Emine is one of the most valuable sites in the country at European and European Union scale for the Lesser Spotted Eagle as a ‘bottleneck’ site whereover 8000 individuals regularly pass on migration.

The rocky cliffs and the marine area of SPA Emine are one of the few in Bulgaria where the Mediterranean Shearwater regularly occurs. The region is one of the few in Bulgaria where the Osprey breeds. The SPA Emine is one of the most important breeding sites in the country on a European Union scale also for the Olive-tree warbler, Woodlark, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Roller, Levant Sparrowhawk, Pied Wheatear, as well as for the Common Tern and Little Tern. During the winter the marine area of the site holds significant numbers of the Black-throated Diver, Pochard, etc.

It is located on the Via Pontica migration flyway and has international importance as a typical bottleneck migration site for the pelicans, storks and birds of prey that use it. Before crossing the Balkan Mountain, the migrating birds concentrate precisely in this spot, as it is the lowest part of the mountain and the easiest obstacle to overcome. The storks and pelicans often fly directly across Burgas bay. The forest is used by migrants – mainly birds of prey, including Lesser Spotted Eagle – as a roosting and feeding place. The plain terrain south of the mountain slopes is used by roosting and passing migrants to rise with the help of air thermals.

Threats to the protected area

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Human activities

The area is threatened by building up activities, as well asincreasing tourist pressure. Because of the rapid development of the resort and the intensivebuilding activities in the adjacent territories part of the existing sand dunes, as well as grasslands and patches of forests are already destroyed. Off road driving and tourism have started to degrade the grasslands and cause disturbance of nesting birds. Intensive forestry activities and illegal cutting in the vicinity of the nests during the breeding season affect the quality of habitatsand cause disturbance of breeding pairs incl. LSE.

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Wind turbine farms

Particularly dangerous for migrating birds arethe plans for development of wind turbine farms.

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Intensive fishing

The marine areas are subject to very intensive fishing.