LIFE22-NAT-BG-Bearded Vulture LIFE-101113869
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21.02.2024

The First Cinereous Vultures for the 2024 Season in Bulgaria Laid Eggs

The first for the 2024 season in Bulgaria, two pairs of Cinereous Vultures laid eggs and started hatching them in the Balkan mountains.

This fact is due to the reintroduction program of the species, which led to its reintroduction to the country, the result of nearly 20 years of efforts by the Green Balkans team, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna FWFF, the Birds of Prey Protection Society BPPS, the Vulture Conservation Foundation VCF and dozens of other partners and donators.

It's interesting to observe how as the pairs mature, each subsequent year the hatching period gets earlier.

The reintroduced Cinereous Vultures in the Balkan Mountains have already formed 12 pairs, most of which have occupied nests. The population consists of 2 cores: in the Eastern Balkan Mountains (Kotlenska Planina) there are 5 pairs formed, 3 of them have raised 3 young in the last 2 years; and in the Western Balkan Mountains (Vrachanski Balkan and Ponor) there are 7 formed pairs that have raised 2 young in the last 2 years.

“We are excited about this extraordinary success for Bulgarian nature protection," shared Ivelin Ivanov from the Green Balkans team. "We are filled with happiness that we see how our dreams come true and our work over the years is meaningful and bearing fruit." 

The restoration of the Cinereous Vulture in Bulgaria took place within the framework of the "Bright Future for the Black Vulture" project, which restored the species as a breeding one, and thus practically "removed" it from the list of extinct species in the Red Book of Bulgaria.

“Until 2021, there is only one colony of the species in the Balkans (those in Dadya, Greece), and after 2022, thanks to our project, there are already 3 (adding the two in the Balkan Mountains). Our success inspired another similar project of fellow conservationists in the Eastern Rhodopes, hoping that the joint efforts of the civil sector in the country will strengthen the return of the species.", said Emilian Stoynov from the team of the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna - one of the people who dedicated his life to the vultures return to the country.

The recovery of rare species is a long and complex process, which is related to the mitigation of threats, creating prerequisites in the wild for their life (improving the food base, nesting conditions), raising public awareness. Thanks to the joint efforts of our team, as well as with the support of the EC, international donors and partners, zoos, and donators, we managed to bring back the Griffon Vulture in Kresna and the Balkan Mountains too.

Vultures are birds with enormous ecosystem and economic benefits, destroying "free" carcasses of wild and domestic animals, thereby stopping the spread of zoonotic diseases and they are of great importance to society.

Our next goal is to return the Bearded Vulture to Bulgaria - a symbol of Bulgarian nature protection. You too can be a part of its comeback... Follow us on the project site https://vultureslife.greenbalkans.org/ and in social networks.

Photos  - Lyubomir Andreev, Georgi Stoyanov - BPPS, Cornel Cotorogea

Contacts:
Green Balkans - Ivelin Ivanov - Project Manager "Bearded Vulture LIFE ", mobile phone +359887589995, e-mail: iivanov@greenbalkans.org
Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna - e-mail - pirin@fwff.org