Иво Данчев


Kentish Plovers already nesting on the mini-dikes in Atanasovsko Lake

Aug. 18, 2020
Svetoslav Spasov
The first results of the activities for the protection of the ecosystem of Atanasovsko Lake are already visible. During the monitoring of the birds, carried out by BSPB within the project "Lagoon of Life" on the new mini dikes in the southern part of Atanasovsko Lake, several families of Kentish Plover were observed with all their hatchlings. This is clear proof that the innovative approach of mini-dikes gives good results and a much larger proportion of young have a chance to reach adulthood.

The construction of these facilities is an important conservation activity, which improves the water circulation in the lake and the condition of the coastal lagoon Atanasovsko Lake. Mini-dikes are built faster, cheaper, require less human labour and do not use timber. Their width is over 3 meters (compared to 80 cm with the old shafts), and their shores are sloping, which makes them a suitable nesting place for a "bouquet" of endangered species: Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, White-fronted, white-billed and river terns, sea rain whistles and others.

The rapid overgrowth of the minidiges with the typical for Atanasovsko lake vegetation of saltwort, suede and wormwood, creates much more natural and favorable living conditions for birds and especially their young. It gives them a hiding place from predators and unfavorable weather conditions and the young can freely go down to the water, feed and return to the higher part of the mini-dyke.

In addition, during their construction, the internal salt channels located between the pools are cleaned. Thus, in addition to improving the circulation of water in the lake and the connection of the individual basins, the conditions for the aquatic inhabitants - the main food of the birds in the lake - are also improved.

"Such conditions guarantee a much higher survival rate of the young of the nesting birds of the mini-birds - commented Dr. Petar Yankov from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, which conducts monthly monitoring of the state of the avifauna in Atanasovsko Lake. "The young of these birds, which nest on the ground, are able to walk and feed on their own immediately after hatching, but if the dikes have vertical wooden walls, as before, they jump into the water to feed and unable to feed. return to the dike, perish. Now with minidigs, this serious problem has been fixed. "

The sea bustard is a bird the size of a sparrow, but incomparably smaller. In fact, the salt pans in Atanasovsko and Pomorie lakes, as well as separate sections of the beaches on the Black Sea coast are the only places where these birds nest in Bulgaria. According to the Atlas of Nesting Birds, published by BSPB, no more than 150 pairs breed in Bulgaria! That is why it is included in the Red Book of Bulgaria and is one of the target types of the Lagoon of Life project.

The sea rain whistle also inspired the Burgas artists Daniel Dubarov and Nikolay Dimitrov from superGteam, who during the Local Fest artistically recreated it on the graffiti wall next to the Graphic Base in flight and in the company of salt shrimps.

The nature protection activities in Atanasovsko Lake are carried out under the project "Lagoon of Life", implemented by BSE, Black Sea Saltworks AD, BSPB and Together 2011 and funded by the LIFE program of the European Commission.

Salt factory
Together 21
Life programme
Natura 2000