The lake of Srebarna is situated by the Danube river, 18 km west of the town of Silistra, North-eastern Bulgaria. Its uniqueness is due to the fact that it is a main “station” along what is known as Via Pontica, the most important migration route of the birds of passage, which starts from Northern Europe and reaches Central Africa.
The lake itself and its surrounding land were made a preserve in 1948, the guarded area being 600 hectares plus a buffer zone of 543 hectares. Some rehabilitation work has been carried out in order to restore its broken natural connection with the Danube, which guarantees the maintenance of its water supply.
The depth of Srebarna varies between 1 and 3 metres. The whole lake is overgrown with reed and other water plants. Its flora is represented by 67 species of plants, some of which are rarely found in Europe. In the preserve there are 39 mammals, 21 reptiles and amphibians, and a dozen of fish species, among which pike, goldfish, rudd, etc.
The micro-climate, flora, fauna and other conditions of Sreburna make it a paradise for the feathered creatures. Over 100 bird species nest here - Dalmatian pelican (the only colony in this country), pygmy cormorant, egrets/herons, glossy ibis, spoonbill, mute swan, ruddy shelduck, gray lag goose, ducks, diving ducks, grebes, marsh harrier, terns, red-spotted bluethroat, bearded tit, etc.
In 1975 Srebarna was included in the Ramsar convention for protecting damp zones with international significance. In 1977 it was made a biosphere preserve on UNESCO’s list. In 1983 it was put on UNESCO’s list of monuments of world cultural heritage and nature sights.
Celebrated in September 2008 was the 60th anniversary of the Srebarna preserve and the 25th anniversary of the local Nature Museum. The celebration marked the conclusion of the campaign "Rediscover Srebarna" that had started earlier during the year. The initiative sought to popularize among the wide public little known facts on the subject of the biological diversity of the area, the history and way of life of the local population, as well as the legends associated with Srebarna. The celebration ceremony was attended by both official guests and many local people the older of whom still remembered the time when the now famous preserve had been only a swamp. In connection with the anniversary of the Museum, its veteran director Rosen Iliev donated his private collection of books to the institution.