Persina Nature Park
Life on an island
- Location: Nikopol, Belene and Svishtov, Bulgaria
- Size: 21,762 hectares
- Established: 2000
The majestic white-tailed eagle soars high above an island in the Danube, circles for a while and continues its flight toward the marshes and flooded forests along the shores of the Danube, before it lands in its nest to feed its offspring.
One of the youngest natural parks in Bulgaria, the Persina Nature Park is unique as it consists of numerous islands in their natural state. It is a paradise for numerous colonies of waterfowl, a nesting place for the swanand an autumn gathering of the black stork. Some of the islands reach lengths of up to 15 kilometres. The group of islands was proclaimed a Ramsar site in 2002, the biggest one in Bulgaria with 6,898 hectares.
The most tremendous wealth of the park is found in the natural flooded forests of willows and poplars and the inland marshes along the Danube. For the protection of these habitats several protected areas have been designated, such as the Kitka and Milka Reserves, both embracing islands of the same name, the Persinski blata Managed Reserve and the Persina-iztok Protected Area, located on the eastern part of Persina island, the Kaikusha Protected Area, a former marsh at the park’s south Boundary and the Plavala Protected Area near the town of Nikopol.
Over 743 higher plant species inhabit the territory of the park. Typical marsh communities like the yellow water lily, the broad-leaved pondweed, the yellow floating-heart, the frogbit, the water chestnut and different types of reed are found in the shallow parts. The formation of natural flooded forests of willow, white poplar and white elm is directly linked to the water regime of the river. Coastal areas subject to flooding are characterised by different formations of white willow, three-stamens willow and osier. Dewberry, hawthorn, dogwood and guelder rose are found as well.More