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02.03.2024

Meet the Cinereous Vultures of Bulgaria - Fremuth

See how one of the Cinereous Vultures of Bulgaria mobilizes dozens of people in Austria, and all completely spontaneously and out of interest in this rare species....

This is Fremuth. She is a female bird. She is named after Wolfgang Fremuth, one of the people responsible for the recovery of vulture populations in Europe. He has a significant contribution to the protection of the biodiversity of the Balkans and is of key importance for the beginning of the reintroduction of Vultures in Bulgaria.

Fremuth was hatched in May 2020 in Spain. She is a Cinereous Vulture, one of the birds donated to Bulgaria by the Regional Government of Junta de Extremadura , in order to return the species to our country. In May 2022 she was admitted at the Wildlife Rescue Center of Green Balkans, after which she was redirected to the aviary in Dolno Ozirovo.

After her release, Fremuth wandered around Europe a lot, even reaching Italy and Poland. In addition, the bird has traveled 18747 km from July 2022 until now!
As you can see, “the Cinereous Vultures of Bulgaria" are also the Cinereous Vultures of Europe, not only because of their origin and the international program of which they are a part, but also because of their travels and the inborn wandering instinct of the young birds. However, a large number of them return to Bulgaria, where they have undergone a period of adaptation in adaptation aviaries and where they create pairs with other birds released within the framework of the reintroduction program (reintroduction of the species).

These days Fremuth found herself about 50 kilometers from Vienna, in an atypical area for the species, with arable land and a lot of wind turbines. After we posted the coordinates of the bird on the Facebook group Balkan Vultures, quite spontaneously and without any organization, several local ornithologists from Austria, colleagues from Austrian civic organizations, a local biology teacher and a photographer located the bird in the field and observed it. She spent the night in a small forest, where she caught the attention of local birds – ravens and birds of prey, which attacked her without her paying any attention to them. Colleagues from the Austrian Ornithological Center also responded, concerned that there are many dangers in the area – such as eating rabbits killed with lead pellets that could cause poisoning, colliding with wind turbines, or becoming exhausted, which could explain her presence in this atypical area for her. It turned out that for now, everything with the bird is fine, but the significant thing, in this case, is how this rare and interesting species, about which few people in Bulgaria know the efforts made to bring it back and how valuable it is, mobilizes dozens of people in Austria just to see it and make sure the bird is doing well. This case is also a good example of how the satellite transmitters equipped on the vultures are excellent for tracking the birds and aiding in their survival.

We will continue to monitor Fremuth, as well as the other vultures, to ensure the success of their reintroduction into the country.

Contacts from Green Balkans:
Ivelin Ivanov - Project Manager "Bearded Vulture LIFE",
mobile phone: +359887589995, email: iivanov@greenbalkans.org