Rodope montane mixed forests
The Rodope mountane mixed forests cover the higher parts of the Balkan Mountains, the Rhodope Mountains, Rila, Pirin, Vitosha, Sredna Gora, Ograzhden and Maleshevo, situated almost entirely in Bulgaria, as well as in some adjacent areas in Greece, North Macedonia and Serbia. They span an area of 31,600 km2 and are replaced at lower altitudes by the Balkan mixed forests.
The number of species of vascular plants in the ecoregion are estimated at 3,000. The lower areas are covered with mixed deciduous woods, most prominently with European beech, Oriental hornbeam, European hornbeam and several oak species. The higher zones are dominated by coniferous forests — Scots pine, Bosnian pine, Macedonian pine, Bulgarian fir, Silver fir, Norway spruce, etc. The highest altitudes support shrubs, heath and Alpine tundra.
The Rodope montane mixed forests are sanctuary to a number of endangered mammal species, such as brown bears, wolves, European pine martens, European otters, wildcats and chamois. More common large mammals include roe deer, wild boars and foxes.
The Rodope montane mixed forests ecoregion holds a total of three national parks, all of them situated in Bulgaria, and they comprise the Central Balkan National Park, Pirin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Rila National Park.