“Balkan Green Belt” 2017 photo contest is organized by Green Balkans within a joint project implemented by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Green Balkans, and EuroNatur (Germany) aimed at promoting the European Green Belt.
The BalkaNatureNet Forum was held in Tirana, Albania between 21 and 24 April. It gathered more than 60 participants from the Balkan countries
The children were introduced to Green Balkans’ work in recovering these rare falcons as a nesting species in Bulgaria.
In February 2017, the second closing public opinion poll was conducted, considering the actions in Lesser Kestrel recovery in Sakar SPA and Green Balkans’ work in the area.
On the 2 April 2017 trainees from the Green Balkans’ Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre in Stara Zagora, from the “Student Practices” project of the MES, together with volunteers and part of the Centre’s team, visited our south neighbour, Greece. The task was to check the old and find new Lesser Kestrel colonies. Militsa Ivanova tells about the great experience.
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Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni, Fleischer, 1818) is a small falcon species that is a useful ally of man in combating pests in agricultural landscapes. Once considered among the most abundant birds of prey in Europe, today, due to agriculture intensification, farmland abandonment, loss of nesting sites and intensive pesticide application it has an uncertain future.
Lesser Kestrel is strongly attached to agro-environmental landscapes, showing high preferences towards extensively managed wheat crops and extensively grazed or otherwise maintained pastures. The species is an essentially insectivorous, opportunist feeder, capable of exploiting a wide range of terrestrial and aerial prey.
Lesser Kestrels are often nesting in urban areas, as they provide nesting sites and reduced nest predation and are usually surrounded by agricultural fields or open uncultivated grasslands, securing food sources. The species is therefore highly dependent on human activity not only for foraging areas but also in terms of available nesting sites.
In the past, the Lesser Kestrel was widely spread in Bulgaria, nesting “everywhere” in the mid-19th century. At present, there are no Lesser Kestrel breeding pairs confirmed in Bulgaria.