ORCHIS - Orchids researches, conservation and habitats in Strandzha

Project code:CB005.1.12.025
Project call:CB005.1
Priority axis / Specific objective:1.2. Improving the capacity for nature protection, sustainable use and management of common natural resources through cooperation initiatives in the cross-border area
Type of project:Soft
Project duration in months:12
Project final contract amount:108298.71 €
Project EU co-financing rate:85.00 %
Project start date:21.03.2017
Project end date:20.03.2018
Project intervention field:085 Protection and enhancement of biodiversity, nature protection and green infrastructure
Project summary:

The main objective of the project is study and conservation of wild orchids native to Strandzha mountain.

The study will be conducted by a specialized software and implementing an innovative method for monitoring habitats and species.

Within the project there will be implemented field surveys  in the regions around Malko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) and Demirköy (Turkey). Development and implementation of specialized software, which will work with the collected and updated information about orchids in Strandzha is envisaed. The information about orchids includes a picture, coordinates, description and size of the population in Strandzha region. The software will allow appending new data aiming at increased sustainability of the results and effective monitoring. Within the  project a training for foresters, botanists and other stakeholders will be organized for usage of the new software in the field.

Regional Forest Directorates will be equipped with tablets containing the installed software.

As a result of the joint study on species composition, population, status and habitat of orchids in Strandzha there will be created and published a list of orchid species occurring in the territory of Strandzha.
Implementation of the project will contrubute to improvement of cooperation in preservation of wild orchids in the corss-border region and exchange of know-how and experience.

Project status: Finished

Most commonly, the word "orchid" is associated with exotic, tropical destinations, jungles and adventures. Outside the scientific, botanical circles, few people know that the Orchids are the second largest family of over 23,000 species, of which over 200 are found in Europe. The special geographic location of Strandzha, the specific climatic conditions and its paleontological past (lack of ice in the Quaternary) are the reasons that floristic elements could be seen in the mountain and the combination of which is unique for Europe. So it is no wonder that there is also a great variety of orchids. Due to their biological and ecological features, orchids are suitable for use as indicator species for the habitat status they are encountering. However, the difficulties in recognizing them in the field exclude them from most monitoring programs and methodologies. For this reason, orchids are often unchecked and unprotected. Our project is about the development and implementation of special software that enables employees working in different institutions (forestry, park management, universities, scientific institutions) to monitor orchids and their habitats on a terrain in a mountain that is poor populated, intersected, and with incomplete Internet coverage. As a result of the implementation of the activities set out in the project, a comprehensive mapping of the orchid species, size and distribution of their populations in Strandzha was conducted. 32 species were found, 2 species are new to the mountain. Altogether 793 locations (with GPS coordinates) and a total of 1055236 specimens were mapped. New habitats have been identified of rare orchid species included in various national and international conventions and applications. Information was also collected on the threats to wild orchids and their habitats. The main threat is the harvesting of the orchids' tubers and their use for the manufacture for sale. All the information gathered during the fieldwork, was summed up in a publication and was used for the development of the software. The software was installed on tablets that were distributed to forest holdings in the area, and forest staff was trained to use it.

Project website:


Project materials:

Project materials (notebook, banner, t-shirt, bag and badge) are available HERE.

Products from the project:

The project logo is available HERE.

The Survey "Orchis of Strandzha" is available HERE.

The Field work “New data on the species of Orchidaceae in the Strandzha Natural Park” is available HERE.

The Presentation from the Press Conference (27 July 2017) in Bulgarian language is available HERE.

The Presentation "New data on the species of Orchidaceae in the Strandzha Natural Park", Svetla Dalakchieva, Antoaneta S. Petrova is available HERE.

The Presentation „ORCHIS - Orchids researches, conservation and habitats in Strandzha“, Svetla Dalakchieva, Burgas, 30 April 2018, in Bulgarian language is available HERE.

The Presentation “Guidelines for work with specialized software”, in English language is available HERE.

The Presentation "Guidelines for work with specialized software", in Bulgarian language is available HERE.

The Presentation "Guidelines for work with specialized software", in Turkish language is available HERE.

The Presentation "Project implementation results", in Bulgarian language is available HERE.


Leading partner
Demirköy Forestry
Non-government Organization for Conservation ONE NATURE