Faunistic Study of the Tsibar Danube Island
Abstract: Tsibar Island is situated on the Bulgarian part of the Danube River, at 680 m of the Bulgarian and about 100 of the Romanian coast from 716 to 719 km along the river, with an area of 1.3 km2. The territory is covered mainly by riparian woodland. Because of its European importance to the protection of rare and threatened habitats, plants and animals, including birds, the island falls within the borders of proposed Natura 2000 sites under both the Birds and the Habitats Directives.
Part of the island is placed under strict protection as a menaged reserve “Ibisha”. In 1997 the territory was designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. In 2002 the reserve has been declared as a Ramsar site according to the international convention for the conservation of wetlands. Tsibar Island is of international importance defined by one of the largest mixed colony of herons and cormorants in Bulgaria. It is a site of global importance for the nesting Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and one of the most important sites in Bulgaria for the nesting of the Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) and Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). There have been identified more than 100 animal species: 42 terrestrial and 16 aquatic invertebrates, 5 fish species, 1 amphibian and 1 reptile species, 30 birds (including 22 breeding), 16 mammalian species (including 8 species of bats). Ascertained are the Medicinal leech (Hirudo verbana), which is a rare species at the European level, endangered Thick-shelled river mussel (Unio crassus), protected fish Asp (Leuciscus aspius) and Great raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius), included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria in the category “extinct”. A management plan for Ibisha Menaged Reserve was developed in 2015.