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Persina Nature Park, one of 11 Bulgarian Nature Parks, is an area of high conservation value.

Belene Island, Bulgaria. Former floodplain forests and wetlands are being restored in the Bulgarian part of the Danube River. The marsh has been reconnected with the river, creating rich feeding, breeding and spawning grounds for fish, flora and fauna. © WWF
Persina Nature Park is situated along the Bulgarian section of the Lower Danube and covers an area of 21762, 2 ha with a complex of islands. It includes the biggest Ramsar site of Bulgaria and features 475 higher plants species and over 200 species of birds, most of them of high conservation value such as Pygmy cormorant, Ferruginous duck, or White-tailed eagle. In total 1100 animal species, including three endemic to the Danube region, have been identified.

Persina pilot site. rel= © WWF

The PES scheme

The most significant ecosystems within the Park are the flooded forests along the Danube and the inland marshes. These aquatic habitats are important for bird and fish species, of high relevance to local fisheries communities and those downstream the Danube, but also act as carbon sinks, if maintained. Kaykusha swamp of the size of 150 ha accumulates 600 t of carbon per annum, which is worth 6000 EUR. Wetland vegetation needs to be managed and can be used as green energy source, generating income for local people and nature conservation alike.