Dragoman Marsh

Action Site

Habitat Type



The Dragoman Marsh is located between Sofia and the town of Dragoman. The Dragoman Marsh was almost completely drained before political changes in 1990, when the marsh started to slowly recover its hydrological regime. Many rare bird species have since recolonized the marsh but halting the drainage has not allowed for full restoration of the wetland after decades of degradation. Dragoman Marsh is now a Natura 2000 site and is part of the wider Dragoman Marsh Karst Complex Ramsar Site. It is also part of the European Green Belt area. The marsh is threatened by 1. the inflow of untreated wastewater from the town of Dragoman, 2. hydrological alterations, 3. accumulation of biomass in the marsh and the adjacent meadows, and 4. intensified agriculture. At present, there is no accumulation of peat, humus or other forms of long-term carbon fixation in the Dragoman Marsh. The aim of the restoration activities is to seek the best solutions for biodiversity restoration and maintenance, long-term carbon sequestration and the establishment of local economic practices. This will be achieved through different strategies including trialling sustainable land-use alternatives such as paludiculture, devising a restoration and management strategy, establishing buffer zones around the marsh and improving the existing community outreach infrastructure. Land ownership at Dragoman Marsh is fragmented amongst private landowners, state bodies and NGOs. Initial restoration activities will focus on the plots owned by the Balkani Wildlife Society. However, significant upscaling around these sites will arise through interconnectivity and strong relationships with other landowners within the bounds of Dragoman Marsh and across the surrounding farmland.

All Project Sites