Animals and Plants
What is growing in Bulgaria?
Just over a third (35 percent) of Bulgaria is covered with forest. This grows mainly on the mountain slopes. Deciduous trees can be found in lower elevations, while conifers such as pine, spruce and fir trees are more common. Common tree species are beech, oak and maple. Olive trees and holm oaks grow on the Black Sea with its Mediterranean climate.
From around 2000 meters, the climate becomes alpine. This means that only grasses and mosses grow there. The lowlands of Bulgaria on the Danube and Mariza are steppes in which mainly grasses grow and only a few trees stand. The plains are also used for agriculture.
Which animals live in Bulgaria?
It is estimated that 900 to 1200 brown bears still live in Bulgaria. The lynx is also an animal inhabitant of the country. Its number is said to be around 700. Wolves, foxes, badgers, wild cats, deer and chamois are also native. Small mammals are moles, hedgehogs, ground squirrels, squirrels, dormouse, snow mouse and tree dormouse. The tigeriltis shows a conspicuous fur.
Of course there are also birds in Bulgaria – more than 350 species have already been counted. They include stone grouse, wall creepers and imperial eagles. In autumn countless storks, lesser spotted eagles, honey buzzards and pelicans roam the Black Sea coast. The bird migration is named after the ancient Roman road, Via Pontica. The birds migrate south from Siberia across the Balkans – and back in spring.
The lakes and rivers are not only home to numerous fish, but also to otters, turtles, sea birds and water snakes. Seals and dolphins like bottlenose dolphins live in the Black Sea. However, it is severely threatened. Overall, the fish population also fell sharply because the environmental pollution is too great.
Bulgaria is the poorest country in the European Union (EU). Average earnings are among the lowest in Europe. 7.7 percent of the people are unemployed. The Roma, who are excluded from society, are hit particularly hard.
According to iamhigher, corruption is a big problem in Bulgaria: Often you can only get ahead by paying bribes if you want something, for example in an office. Even higher sums such as subsidies have already disappeared in Bulgaria – apparently in the pockets of high officials.
Another problem is environmental pollution. Industry was strongly promoted during the communist era, but little consideration was given to the environment. The soil, the water and the air were damaged. Today the industry is modernized, but some of the contaminated sites are still there.
Rose oil from Bulgaria
The Damascus rose grows in Bulgaria’s rose valley. Rose oil is extracted from it. You need that for perfume, for example. There are kilometers of fields in the valley that lies south of the Balkan Mountains in central Bulgaria. Roses have been grown here since 1710. Bulgaria is the world’s largest producer of rose oil.
The roses bloom white, pink and red. The flowers have to be picked very early, before sunrise, because that is when the oil content is highest. The flowers are picked by hand. You need 3000 kilograms of flowers for one liter of oil! That’s a lot and that’s why it’s so valuable. A kilogram of oil costs around 10,000 euros at the wholesaler!
What else is coming from Bulgaria?
Agriculture plays only a minor role overall. It generates 4.4 percent for Bulgaria. Fruits and vegetables, tobacco, wheat, barley, sunflowers and sugar beet are grown. Raspberries and sheep’s milk are more important for export.
Industry is more important than agriculture. It generates 28 percent. Food, machinery and chemical products are manufactured in Bulgaria. The electronics area was expanded. Household appliances, computers, telephones and scientific equipment are produced. Another area is means of transport. There are factories for trains, trams, buses and trucks. Crude oil is also processed.
However, one area in particular is growing today: tourism. On the Black Sea you can go on a beach holiday, the thermal baths are booked for health holidays and in winter you can go skiing there.