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Post code: 5930
Intl dial code: +359 658

Persina Nature Park

Persina is situated along the Svishtov - Belene lowlands and includes part of the surrounding steep Danube coast around Nikopol and Svishtov and all the Bulgarian islands in that part of Danube River.
The park is unique for Bulgaria and is the only on the Bulgarian riverside of the Danube with 21 762,2 hectares area. The reserve includes the largest Bulgarian island – Persin (today Belene) which is 15 km long and reaches 6 km in width. It was designed to conserve and recover the damp zones along the Danube and to preserve the natural condition of the multitude of islands included in the reserve's boundaries.

The uniqueness and the importance of these islands became the reason to proclaim 6 898 hectares of the park as the largest Ramseur place in Bulgaria. The most important ecosystems in the park are the over flooded forests and the interior swamps.

Within the park there are several protected places and reserves, each designed to preserve certain specie's habitat. The dense forests and the islands' marshlands are extremely important for the reproduction, feeding and rest of great number floating and fish-eating birds.

The park's treasure is the birds. Over 170 birds have been described. The Belene island complex is knows as one of the 50 ornithological places in Bulgaria. Persina Nature Park is home to endangered birds like pygmy cormorant, red-breasted goose, Aythya nyroca, Crex crex, Pelecanus crispus, Acrocephalus palustris, etc. During the migration and in the post nesting period numerous flights of Pelecanus crispus, Phalacrocorax carbo, greylag goose and mallard occupy the sandy strips between the islands. The Sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla Linnaeus) is the symbol of the park. It is one of the most rarely nesting birds in Bulgaria. At present, only several couples are known to nest in Bulgaria. This eagle is very sensitive to human presence and that is why there are two reserves within Persina Nature Park, where human activity is strictly prohibited.

Otter, hamster, deer, wild boar, wildcat, polecat, and fox are among the mammals that commonly inhabit the park. Natrix natrix, grass snake, the lizards Lacerta viridis and Lacerta praticola, Eryx jaculus Linnaeus, and terrapin represent the reptiles.

Pelobates syriacus balcanicus and Pelobates fuscus, Bufo bufo, Bombina bombina Linnaeus, Hyla arborea and Triturus cristatus danubialis represent small part of the amphibian diversity. Characteristic of the park are different sturgeon fish, Danube herring, gobies, etc.

The floral diversity in the park is also impressive. 475 higher plant species, the existence of 162 out of which depends on the water supply, are found in Persina. Together with the dense willow and poplar forests the following endangered species are met: yellow water rose (Nuphar lutea), Trapa natans, Utricularia vulgaris, Salvinia natans, Leukojum Astivum.

Besides the natural assets, the park encompasses variety of cultural and historical sights. There are 36 archaeological sights dating back to Roman, early medieval and medieval settlements.

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