Rila National Park turned 32

23 Feb, 2024 | 15:55

Bulgaria is among the countries where the traditions in the field of nature conservation have not been broken, and the Rila National Park is one of our most significant national achievements. It is the largest of the three national parks country-wide and one of the largest parks in Europe with an area of 81 046 ha. It was proclaimed on 24 February 1992 with the aim of preserving for the benefit of society representative natural complexes of high conservation significance and characteristic landscapes and objects of inanimate nature which are of global importance for science and culture.

The protected area is an important part of an ecological corridor linking European, Mediterranean and pre-Asian flora and fauna due to the fact that it includes extremely valuable ecosystems still untouched by humans. This is particularly characteristic of forest ecosystems, which are about 94,8 % natural in origin.

The park is one of the most important sites of globally threatened species of plants and animals, part of the pan-European ecological network Natura 2000. It contains four reserves, which occupy about 20% of its territory - "Skakavitsa", "Parangalitsa" (one of the oldest reserves in Bulgaria, declared in 1933), "Ibar", and the largest nature reserve in the country "Central Rila Reserve".

The Rila National Park is a breeding ground for a significant number of species with global conservation status: 24 globally threatened vertebrate species, 13 invertebrate species, 10 plant species. It hosts some of the world's most representative spruce and fir ecosystems, combined with the endemic white fir. It is an important refuge for populations of invertebrates, large mammals, birds and bats.

The Rila Park is also one of the most important areas for sustainable tourism, for preserving traditions and crafts for the benefit of local communities, for mountain sports and recreation in Bulgaria. It is one of the few natural places in the country for research, monitoring, and environmental education in naturally functioning ecosystems.

It is the park's management staff who are responsible for preserving and ensuring the sustainable use of this natural treasure, controlling activities in the protected area, monitoring plant and animal life, providing competent assistance to the many tourists and nature adventurers, taking care of their awareness and safety, preventing violations and, in partnership with the scientific community and public institutions - keeping an eye on the unique natural wealth preserved in the Rila National Park.