Reserve Valchi dol

Wolf (Canis lupus)

This is one of the wildest and well-preserved areas in the Eastern Rhodopes and is the only strict reserve in the region. The reserve ensures strict protection for various habitats, sub-mediterranean shrubs and forests, xerophitic and mesophitic grasslands, beech forests and rocks. Characteristic for the reserve are the Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) communities which usually cover the hills. Fourteen Red Data Book plant species occur here. Some of them are the Rhodope Haberlea (Haberlea rhodopensis), Lathraea rhodopaea, Stachys serbica etc. 

The area has 21 reptile and amphibian species - Warm Snake (Typhlops vermicularis), Dahl's Whip Snake (Coluber najadum) and one of the highest numbers of tortoises in Bulgaria. The reserve is part of an IBA of global significance. Especially numerous are birds of prey with 23 species including Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Booted eagle (Aquila pennata), Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo). Black Vultures regularly use the area for foraging and feeding. Characteristic mammals include Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Otter (Lutra lutra), Wolf (Canis lupus) and Fallow Deer (Dama dama). 


Black vulture (Aegypius monachus); Photo: Stefan Avramov
Alyssum saxatile