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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Bistrishko Branishte Biosphere Reserve is situated on the north-east slope of the Vitosha Mountain, south of Sofia. It is entirely included in the Vitosha Nature Park. The reserve was established in 1934 to protect the wonderful landscape and natural flora of Vitosha Mts. The biosphere reserve was established in 1977. It covers an area of 1061,6 hectares from 1250 to 2282 meters above sea level. The reserve comprises coniferous forests mostly with spruce (Picea abies) and deciduous forests of beech (Fagus sylvatica) on lower slopes, whereas the higher parts are covered by subalpine shrub (Juniperus sibirica) and grassland communities, and bare rocks. Very characteristic for the landscape are the ’stone rivers‘. The botanical diversity is rich - more than 400 species of algae, 360 lichens, 500 fungi and 450 vascular plants have been recorded. Among the rare and protected vascular plants are Aquilegia aurea, Gentiana lutea, Gentiana punctata, Lilium jankae, Luzula alpinopilosa subsp. deflexa, Senecio pancicii, and Trollius europaeus. The reserve is home to many rare and endangered animals such as the brown bear (Ursus arctos), Spermophilus citellus, marten (Martes martes), M. foina, Mustela nivalis, wolf (Canis lupus). The forest was subject to timber exploitation until the establishment of a nature reserve. This biosphere reserve is currently under revision.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coniferous (Picea abies), deciduous (Fagus sylvatica) and mixed forests; subalpine shruby communities (Juniperus sibirica); subalpine and alpine grasslands
  Location   42°35'N; 23°15'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,062
  Core area(s)   1,061.6
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,250 to +2,282
  Year designated   1977
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Floristic and phytosociological studies
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Flora, phytosociology/succession.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Gergana Blagieva
Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters
136, Tsar Boris III Blvd., et.10
1618 Sofia
  Telephone   (359.2) 9406498
  Fax   (359.2) 955 9362

Last updated: 13/01/2004

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