A Black Vulture visited the Griffon Vultures in Vrachanski Balkan


The last confirmed record of a nesting Black (Cinereous) Vulture in Vrachanski Balkan dates back from 1932 and since then only isolated observations of single individuals of various reliability have been reported. The current photographically confirmed sighing is therefore the first evidence of such sort for the past over eighty years!

Black vulture is considered extinct as nesting from Bulgaria, since the last confirmed nest of the species was recorded in the Eastern Rhodopes in 1993. The closest colony of the species is located in the Dadia Reserve, Northern Greece and Black Vultures often visit Southern Bulgaria and the Eastern Rhodopes in search of food. Since the teams of Green Balkans, FWFF and the Birds of Prey Protection Society have been maintaining supplementary feeding sites in Vrachanski Balkan, the Eastern Balkan Mountains and the Kresna Gorge, observations of the species are getting more often also in the inner parts of the country. We believe that the presence of the newly established Griffon Vulture colonies, formed after the release of over 210 birds imported from Spain and France has also contributed to the species becoming a more frequent visitor. Last year a young Black Vulture spent over a month together with the Griffon Vultures in the area between Sliven and Kotel, for a third serial year after decades of complete absence.

This gives us hopes for the future restoration of the species, provided within the Vultures Back to LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project, which started in 2015. We provide for the release of 48 Black Vultures in the Eastern Balkan Mountains and Kresna starting from 2018, hoping that they would like the areas where Griffons have already permanently established themselves and would also stay.

In the meantime the situation in Vrachanski Balkan is more than optimistic. After the very first chick in the Balkan Mountains for the past 60 years successfully hatched and fledged here last year, a year later there are six confirmed pairs incubating and four more territorial pairs so keep fingers crossed for more good news!

This is how, step by step, we are on the way to see our dreams coming true and see vultures back to where they belong - an integral part of Bulgarian nature!

For more information please contact:
Georgi Stoyanov - BPPS,, +359 88734503
Elena Kmetova-Biro -, +359 885 219 557