Watch online


Sandwich terns (Sterna sandvicensis sandvicensis) colony at Pomorie Lake

Sandwich terns (Sterna sandvicensis sandvicensis) colony at Pomorie Lake
Sandwich tern is one of the rare species for whose conservation our efforts are directed.

Green Balkans NGO is implementing a long-term program for conservation and recovery of the Sandwich tern at Pomorie Lake.

Part of the conservation activities are restoration and creation of new nesting habitat for the species. The outcome of the conservation measures is increase of breeding pairs at the lake from 6 pairs in 1996 to 1500 pairs in 2009. The Pomorie Lake colony is already one of the largest in Europe. Together with the Sandwich terns the new habitat is occupied by Common terns, Avocets and Kentish plovers.

In 2008 with the financial support of GEF and the World Bank within the large project “Pomorie Lake – Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable management” implemented by Green Balkans NGO cameras were purchased and installed at the Sandwich terns colony. These help the biologists to study the birds and plan conservation measures.


(Click on photo to continue)
Live view is available only by using Internet Expolorer.
ID and password - user

More information about the Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis sandvicensis) you can learn here:

Information on the species:

Distribution in Bulgaria: Passing and nesting subspecies. Currently nests at Pomorie Lake with maximum numbers reaching 1500 pairs in 2009 and at Atanasovkso Lake but with considerably lower numbers.

Biology: Lives in hyper-saline and other wetlands mostly along the sea coast. Feeds mainly on fish. Nests colonially together with Common, Gull-billed and Little terns, Mediterranean gull and the Avocet. Nesting colonies are situated on dikes or islets in the lake or near it. The female lays in the end of May-beginning of June one and rare 2 eggs.
Conservation status: Protected species listed in the Bern, Bonn and Ramsar Conventions as well as in Annex II and III of Bulgarian Biodiversity Act and Directive 2009/147/ЕU on conservationtion of wild birds.
Information on Pomorie Lake:
Conservation status: The wetland and its adjacent areas form unique complex of species, habitats and landscape, protected by national and international conservation legislation:
- Pomorie Lake protected site (2001).
- Ramsar site ( since 2002 the lake is included in the List of wetlands of international importance).
- Important Bird Area (1998).
- SPA „Pomorie Lake” (2007) under Birds Directive 79/409/ЕЕС.
- SCI „Pomorie” (2007) under Habitats Directive 92/43/ЕЕС.
Surface of Pomorie Lake: 814 ha.

Geographic coordinates: 42° 35' N. 27° 37' E.

Geographic situation and description: The lake is natural hyper-saline lagoon situated at 814 ha. Size: length – 6,7 km; width - 1,8-2 km. Natural sand bar and artificial dike separated the lagoon from the Black sea.
In the southern part of the lake medicinal mud is extracted and in the northern are situated the saltpans used for salt productions since hundreds of years. The saltpans are many hyper-saline basins with average salinity of the water about 50 ‰. The basins are separated from each other with wooden-ground dikes.
In the vicinity of the wetland – at the sand bar, dikes and adjacent terrains are recorded 87 species of vascular plants, 17 species of amphibians and reptiles, 31 species of mammals, many of which rare and threatened. The greatest treasure of Pomorie Lake is its birds. So far, a total of 268 species (breeding, wintering, migrating) have been found in this region. 74 of these are listed in Bulgarian Red Data Book, 138 are of European Conservation Significance and 8 are globally threatened (White-headed Duck, Red-breasted Goose, Dalmatian Pelican, Ferruginous Duck etc.). The lake is one of Bulgaria’s most important breeding sites for the following species: Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis), Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Common Tern (Sterna hirrundo), Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) etc. Thanks to the artificial islands built and maintained by Green Balkans’ volunteers the Sandwich tern was recovered at Pomorie Lake. The nesting Sandwich tern colony is one of the largest in Europe.
Pomorie Lake is situated on Europe’s second biggest migration route - Via Pontica and is one of the most important resting sites for the migratory birds along the Black sea. The salt lagoon is important site for wintering of many water birds.

Information on project “Pomorie Lake – Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable management”
Project “Pomorie Lake – Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable management” GEF - MSP TF 054774 is implemented by Green Balkans NGO, Bulgariaсе in partnership with Pomorie Municipality and MOEW. The project is funded by GEF and the World Bank.
The aim of the project is to save for the coming generations the hyper-saline lagoon and the unique diversity of birds, flora and other fauna through combination of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources (salt production and medicinal mud extraction) and development of eco-tourism.