The biosphere reserve is situated near the village of Sreburna, 18 km west of Silistra and 2 km south of the Danube.It includes Lake Sreburna and the surrounding territory, covering an area of 600 ha.
The depth of the lake varies between 1 and 3 m. The whole lake is covered with rushes and other water-loving plants. There are 67 higher plant species, some of which are rare in Europe. Some examples are the water lily, the swamp snowdrop, the swamp violet, bulrushes and reeds.
Almost half of Bulgaria’s bird species nest in the reserve. There are around 100 local species, 221 together with the passing and feeding ones. There are a great number of rare and precious representatives of the national and world genetic fund: water birds, curly-headed pelican, wild geese, ibises, herons, wild ducks etc. The colony of the curly-headed pelican is the only one in Bulgaria. The lake’s uniqueness is due to its position as a main stopover on the so-called Via Pontica, the most important migration route of migratory birds between Northern Europe and central Africa.
39 species of mammals inhabit the shores and small islands of Sreburna- little polecats, various mice etc. There are 21 species of amphibians and reptiles- tortoises, otters, lake crab, water rat, water snakes, tritons etc. One can also encounter the green frog- one of the world’s species which is fast becoming extinct. There are about ten species of fish, including pike, red-fin, etc.
The lake was declared a protected territory in 1948, and the cutting of the rushes and disturbance of the birds was prohibited. Because of its great variety of birds and the favourable conditions for its preservation, Lake Sreburna was included in the Ramsar Convention for the Preservation of Moisture Zones of International Significance.
The Srebarna Nature Reserve was included in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List at the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Committee session of 1983 in Florence, Italy.