Protected area "Marica Parvomay"
The site includes the Maritsa riverbed in the region of the town of Parvomay riverine habitats and agricultural lands along its stream. It stretches from the villages of Chalukovtsi and Popovitsa on the west to Velikan and Yabalkovo on the east and from Mirovo, Gradina, Krushevo and Dobri Dol on the north to Debar, Karadzhalovo and Skobelevo on the south.
The riverine forests along Maritsa are dominated by Alnus glutinosa, Salix alba, S. fragilis, Populusnigra, P. alba at some place mixed with plantations of hybrid poplar. Small patches of oak forestare dispersed among the arable land. The grassland habitats are presented by mesophyte communities of Festuca pratensis, Poa sylvicola, Alopecurus pratensis, Lolium perenne, Agrostisstolonifera, etc.
The birds in the protected area
The SPA Maritsa-Purvomay supports 84 bird species, 34 of which are listed in the Red DataBook of Bulgaria. The area provides suitable habitats for 29 species, included in Annex 2 of theBiodiversity Act, which need special conservation measures, of which 26 are listed also in Annex I of the Birds Directive.
The SPA Maritsa-Purvomay holds at least 1 to 3 breeding pairs of Lesser Spotted Eagle. 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 Maritsa – Parvomay is the site with the biggest Bulgarian breeding population of the Masked Shrike. It is also a site of European Union importance for the Levant Sparrowhawk. The European Roller and the White Stork occur there with representative breeding populations. During the winter the Great White Egret regularly occurs along the Maritsa River stream and the Whooper Swan stay in the fields around the river.
threats to the protected area
Maritsa-Parvomay is situated close to a densely populated town therefore is influenced by the intensive human activities. The area is also sensitive to the human activities related mainly to agriculture, forestry and water management.
Amongst the most serious impacts related to agriculture is the removal of the natural vegetation and conversion of grasslands and shrub dominated habitats into arable land, as well as the large-scale use of pesticides and fertilizers. Grazing is carried out on the pastures close to the villages which are overgrazed. Cutting of trees and shrubs along Maritsa River, afforestation with non-indigenous species and expansion of the sand and gravel extraction cause deterioration and loss of valuable habitats for breeding and roosting birds, incl. LSE.