About the reserve
Tsarichina Reserve was set apart on July 18, 1949. With an area of 3,418.7 hectares, it is located within the village of Ribaritsa’s lands. Its territory reaches from watershed of the Beli Vit River with its main tributaries, the Stara Ribaritsa and the Zavodna. It encompasses forest and subalpine ecosystems at altitudes between 700 and 2,198 meters above sea level. This Reserve is also included in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program.
The most common tree species within the Reserve are beech, spruce, fir, and hornbeam. Tsarichina is the northernmost location in the world to find the Macedonian pine (a Balkan endemic species). The reserve derives its name from a grassy plant, the scarlet avens, which the locals call tsariche. Other grassy plants include the Stara Planina violet, Panchichev’s angelica, and Kerner’s thistle.
Vertebrate fauna consist of 15 species of amphibians and reptiles, and over 30 species of mammals, including brown bear, wolf, roe, red deer, and otter, weasel. Most of the birds identified in Tsarichina actually nest within the Reserve’s environs (75 out of the 90 species). The Reserve is also a sanctuary to all seven species of owl common to the Bulgarian Mountains.