A record-breaking number of Cinereous Vulture outside the Eastern Rhodopes

A total of 20 Cinereous Vultures were counted through visual observation and transmitter data in Vrachanski Balkan in July. This is a record-breaking number of this rare species for the entire Balkans, outside the breeding colony in the Eastern Rhodopes, Greece.

In the past few days the situation in the Vrachanski Balkan NP is extremely dynamic. Two more Cinereous Vultures were released from the adaptation aviary in the area mid-July, making a total of 9 birds released in 2021. The birds, released last year, which survived and remained in the area are 7. Together with all these vultures, the supplementary feeding site is also used by two “foreign” vultures, who came here on their own – Ultramarin, tagged with a transmitter in NP “Sinite kamani” earlier this year and another, non-marked one. In addition to them, transmitter data and observations record two of the Cinereous Vultures released in the Eastern Balkan Mountains several hundred kilometers away. This accounts for a total of 20 Cinereous Vultures in the area of Vrachanski Balkan!

This is an absolute record-breaking number for birds of the species, observed outside the breeding colony in the Eastern Rhodopes, Greece. The number of incubating pairs there since 2015 has been 31-34 pairs and the total number is estimated to ca 110-140 birds (Management Body of Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest database; data aquired on 19/02/2020).

At the same time we would like to remind you that before the start of the Bright Future for Black Vulture Project and the first release of Cinereous Vultures in the area in 2020, the species was considered extinct from the territory of Vrachanski Balkan for the past 70 years. The very first breeding pair was established just a year following the first release, so nature lovers can congratulate themselves with the first successful steps towards the complete restoration of the species in the area!

Photo: Georgi Stoyanov, BPPS

Georgi Stoyanov 
Field coordinator - Vrachanski Balkan of Bright Future for Bright Vulture project,e-mail:, mob. phone: +359 878 734503