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History of Srebarna Biosphere Reserve

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Srebarna is one of the most prominent nature reserves in Bulgaria, known far beyond its boundaries as one of the 300 monuments of world cultural and natural herritage on our planet. The popularity and the glory of Srebarna had appeared not suddenly. This lake had overcome many difficulties and obstacles, even the possibility to be drained. Here is the story of Srebarna in chronological order:


The famous Hungarian traveler and artist Felix Kanits is the first one, who had drown Kanits

the attention of European scientific public to the richness and diversity of Srebarna wild nature. The popular phrase “ Srebarna is Eldorado for waterbirds” belongs to him. It had been published in three volumes book “ Danubian Bulgaria and the Balkan” in years 1875-1879. Most probably, namely this book had drown the attention of Austrian travelers, scientist and dealers of feathers from Great and Little Egrets.


The first ornithologist, had described with scientific authenticity the species composition of Srebarna ornithofauna, is Dr. Eduard Hodek. In June 1880 he had spent several days in reed-beds and their vicinities. He had described his observations in an article, published in the magazine “Reports of the Ornithological Union in Vienna”.


Srebarna had been visited by the famous Austrian ornithologist Dr. Otmar Reiser. He had described his observations in the second volume of the book “Materialien zur einer Ornis Balcanica”. Data, included in this exceptionally valuable publication are good base for following the long-term changes in the species composition and numbers of Srebarna ornithofauna.


After a visit to Srebarna in 1940 the famous Bulgarian conservationist Aleksy Petrov Petrov had written a report to Bulgarian Nature Protection Union with an oppinion for a ban of hunting in Srebarna and its declaring for waterbird stock-breeding farm.


Nevertheless of many dificulties Srebarna had been declared as a waterbird stock-breeding farm with an order of the Minister of Agriculture and Forests on 8 April 1942.


An ornithological expedition of Pavel Patev and Aleksy Petrov had been organized in 1946-1948. A great part of collected materials of birds are included in Patev’s book “The Birds of Bulgaria”, published in 1950.


After proposal of Aleksy Petrov and Bulgarian Nature Conservation Union the Council of Ministers had signed a Decree from 20 September for declaring the reserve as a nature reserve with well defined borders: the Danube, the hills Kara Bouroun and Kodzha Bair, the road Silistra-Rouse. This date had been declared as a Srebarna birth day. In the same year a new dyke Vetren-Silistra had started to be built, regardless of the ban for destruction and changing the natural character of the marsh and its surroundings, including water bodies and currents.


The dyke construction had been finished and the slow and long lasting Srebarna agony of death had began.


The management of the reserve had been placed to disposal of Sofia Zoo.


The Biological Station “Srebarna’ had been established of the Insititute of Zoology at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Tanyo Michev in the beginning of establishment of Ecological Station to Srebarna Reserve: Begining


The Nature History Museum had been founded.


Srebarna had been declared a Wetland of International Importance under Ramsar Convention.


The Danube had entered Srebarna again after many years. Enter


Srebarna had been included in the UNESCO List of the World Nature and Culture Heritage Sites.


A mission of UNESCO, IUCN and Ramsar Convention had arrived in Srebarna after a report about its catastrophic situation, signed by the Director of Institute of Ecology at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In a result the three international institutions had decided to allocate 110000 USA dollars for Srebarna recovering.


The management of the reserve had been placed to disposal of the Ministry of Environment and Waters.


The Danube is again in Srebarna Lake! “…Undoubtedly, the regular entrance of Danube waters should delay the enforced succession of the lake. However, it has to be noted that it is only the first step for the lake recovery. Further restoration activities should include the dredging procedures with sediment detachment and management of the reed-beds.” (Biodiversity of Sreburna Biosphere Reserve, 1998).


The Ministry of Environment and Waters had approved the Management Plan of Srebarna, elaborated by scientists from the Central Laboratory for General Ecology, Sofia University and other scientific organizations.


Srebarna is deleted from the List of the world Monuments in a danger.

Created by nevena
Last modified 14.09.2006 15:00

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