The protected area Karadzha dere is located near the town of Dospat and the village of Kusak, with a surface of about 1,000 hectares. It is established in 2008 to protect the habitats of rare and endangered plants and animal species along the Sarnena river /the Karadzha dere River/ and its adjacent areas.
Among the protected species are:
/herbs/: Balkan thistle (Doronicum austriacum Jack), Zelenotsveten foxglove (Digitalis viridiflora Lind), Rhodope mountain mother (Lathrea rhodopea Dingler), Mountain valeriana (Valeriana Montana L.); /birds/: Jay (Garrulus glandarius), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), tit (Parus ater), great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus major), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra); /mammals/: otter (Lutra lutra); /reptiles/: European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis); /amphibians/: Tree Frog (Hylla arborea).
Through the Small Grants Program of the Global Environment Fond in the protected Karadza dere area a project for the conservation of globally significant species – Otter (Lutra lutra) is funded . А dendrology route for ecotourism is also created.
More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.