Bustards

BustardsBustards are from the Otididae family. Their body is slow and big. Some of them weigh more than 20kg. The legs are long, without rear finger. They don’t have rump gland and the feathers are wet easily. There are more than 23 kinds of bustards, spread throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. They are mostly found on open steppes and half-steppes regions. They live alone or in groups and during the mating season – in pairs. They hatch 2 eggs and the newborns are ready for independent living. They feed with seeds, grass, invertebrates and small mammals. In Bulgaria there are 2 known kinds which are mainly focused in Dobrudzha. The Grand Bustard Continue reading “Bustards”

Don

Don riverDon is a river in the European part of Russia. Its source is in the Central Russian Upland, southeast of Tula city and flows northwest of Azov city into the Taganrogski bay of Azov sea. Don has a length of 1970km and the area of its basin is around 442 500 km2 . In the upper stream, Don runs in a narrow valley; the right shore is 90 meters high and the left is low and slant. The river has lots of turns and curves. The most important tributaries of the river are Nepriadva, Krasivaya Mecha, Bistraya Sosna, Voronezh. In the mid stream, near Kalach city, the valley of Don gets wider. The right shore here is also high. In the lower stream Don flows in a very wide valley (20-30 km) with wide floodplain and it is about 20m deep. Tributaries of Don are Severski Donetz, Sal and Manich. Don’s delta has area of about 340km2 . It is most abounding during the spring and least abounding during August and September. The yearly flow is 27.4km3 . In its easternmost Continue reading “Don”

Birch

Birch (Betula)Birch (Betula) – deciduous trees and shrubs of the genus Betula. There are more than 100 species found mainly in East Asia and North America. In Europe there are four species of birch and the most widespread of them is the Common Birch (Betula Alba), also called White Birch. It reaches up to 25, rarely 30, meters in height and is usually found in the mountains, mostly in coniferous forests around clearings, always in limited numbers and among stands of other types of trees. The birch has a good potential to be used as a building material and for industrial purposes but only in the areas where it is found in large quantities. Its wood has no core, it’s moderately heavy, tough and Continue reading “Birch”

Beech

BeechThe Beech-tree (Fagus) is a genus of deciduous trees in the Beech family. There are nine spieces of it distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The European beech or Common beech (Fagus sylvatica) reaches up to 30-40 meters in height and is found in Europe. It grows in almost all at an altitude between 700 and 1800-2000 meters, in extensive beech only stands or among conifers, oaks and other trees. The beech has three ecotypes: foothill beech, mountain beech and alpine beech. The Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis) reaches more than 30 meters in height and is found in Southeast Continue reading “Beech”

Animals

Wild boar in EuropeIn zoogeographic terms Europe belongs to the Palearctic zoogeographical zone. Human activities (deforestation, farming, hunting, etc.) have changed the make-up and distribution of wildlife, and sometimes even have led to the extinction of certain species. For the alpine tundra typical are the arctic fox and partridge, and in coastal areas there are gulls eiders and seals. Moose, wild boar, fox, wolf, brown bear, wildcat, hedgehog, rabbit, squirrel, deer, and various birds inhabit the forest areas. The steppes and Continue reading “Animals”

Vegetation

Vegetation in Europe Vegetation in Europe was completely formed after the quaternary glaciations. Throughout human history vegetation underwent major changes caused by human activity. In many areas crops largely replaced wild vegetation. Many crops originated in Europe. The islands in the Arctic Ocean belong to the Arctic Wasteland Zone and are devoid of trees and shrubs. Lichens and mosses predominate there. The Tundra zone covers the northernmost parts of the Russian plain, the Kola Peninsula and the Scandinavian Peninsula as well as coastal Iceland. There prevail shrubs, mosses, lichens and Continue reading “Vegetation”

Soils

SoilsThe distribution of soil types in Europe is linked to the latitude, but the zoning is often modified by climatic and topographical features. The tundra soil type is most common in Eastern Europe and in Iceland. The mountainosu tundra soils are typical for Scandinavia. Much more widespread in Europe are the podsolic soils, which are common in Northern Britain, Scandinavia, Finland, Poland, Northern Germany, Denmark and the northern part of Russia. In Central Europe the podsolic soils are replaced by brown soils (distributed from Britain to the eastern slopes of the Carpathian maountains, and in the mountains Continue reading “Soils”

Hydrography

River VolgaEurope has a well developed network of rivers. The largest rivers on the continent are situated in the Russian planes. The largest river in Europe is Volga Kama and its tributaries Oka. Other major rivers are the Don, Dnieper, Dniester. The rivers Pechora and Northern Dvina flow into the Arctic Ocean and the rivers Neman, Neva, Vistula, Odra (Oder), Elba (Laban) and others flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The rivers in Fennoscandia and on the Kola Peninsula are short, torrential with many rapids and waterfalls (Glomma, Tura, etc.). The largest rivers in Western Europe are the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Thames, Loire, Garonne, Rhone and others. All these rivers are deep and with high waters almost all year round. Rivers in Southern Europe are more shallow and in the summer the water levels go down. Some of these are the rivers Continue reading “Hydrography”

Climate

WinterMost of Europe lies in the temperate latitudes and only its most southern and northern parts are in the subtropics or north of the Arctic Circle. The influence of the Atlantic is enhanced by the warm Gulf Stream current and the very segmented European coastline. Of great importance is the location of the mountain ranges, which do not hinder the movement of air currents from the west to the east. Cyclonic activity is lower in summertime (the average rate during the warmest month is 28° in the south and 3° in the north), and in winter it increases (the average rate. During the coldest month is respectively 12° and 20°). In most of Europe there is enough rainfall but it is unevenly distributed. While rainfall in Western Europe is in surplus (in Scandinavia and Britain it is more than 2000 mm), in Eastern Europe it is insufficient (for example in the Caspian Sea Valley the rainfall is 100-500 mm). In Europe the temperatures are mostly temperate. The western regions are characterized by moderate coastal climate (with small annual temperature variations, mild winters and relatively warm summers) and the eastern regions are characterized by moderate continental climate (with significant variations in the average annual temperatures, cold winters, warm, and in some places very hot summers). The subtropical zone of Europe has Mediterranean climate (hot dry summers and mild wet winters).

Geography II

VesuviusFrom Northern Europe’s mountainous region to the south rolls a large strip of valleys, hills and spacious depressions covered in part by shallow bodies of water (The English Channel, North and Baltic seas). It is situated on the territory of Northern France, Southeast England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, the northern parts of Germany, a large party of Poland, Southern Sweden and the Russian flatlands. To the south there is a range of medium high mountain ridges and crests typical for Central Europe. The most prominent of them are The Central French massif (1886 metres at its highest point), the Bohemian massif (1456 metres at its highest point) and a large part of the British Isles. Farther down to the south Continue reading “Geography II”