Project results

​Expected results

  • First Black Vulture breeding attempt in the wild in the Balkan Mountain and/or Struma River Valley for the last 60 years and fixed permanent groups of 5-10 birds in the target areas;
  • Improved nesting conditions for Black Vulture through planting of Black Pines (Pinus nigra) and installation of artificial nests;
  • A total of 5 new established supplementary feeding sites for vultures;
  • 3 to 5 agro-silvo pastoral complexes created as well as a herd of 200 free Fallow Deer living there;
  • Established sheep flocks and cow herds breeding models for making the extensive livestock breeding popular and set up a special farmers' association to support local breeders;
  • Two newly restored souslik colonies in the target areas;
  • Collection and analyze of 120 samples for content of pesticides, antibiotics and lead (Pb);
  • 170 dangerous electricity pylons insulated;
  • Ameliorated national expertise and capacity, established and strengthen partnerships with international experts and organizations, involved with vulture conservation. 

Achieved results

Analyzing of livestock breeding status of target areas
• After one full year (2018 - 2019) of monitoring of released and fixed in the region Black Vultures, we can easily identify the area where to focus efforts for establishment of agro-silvo pastoral complexes.

Identifying dangerous electric pylons
• The regular checking of the identified as potentially dangerous 1500 electro pylons is still on. These visits are mainly based on the received from the satellite transmitters tracking data and analyses. As a result, one Griffon Vulture was found dead due to electrocution in the region of Kresna;

Land purchasing for creating agro-silvo pastoral complexes and breeding sanctuary for Fallow Deer (Dama dama) in Kotlenska Planina SPA
• The land purchase activity has been administratively completed, as most of the land set in the project was purchased. However, this activity is still going on with the exchange of land plots in order to consolidate and concentrate the target area and to transform it into the most suitable for vultures. As a result of land exchange, 4 more land plots with a total area of 5 ha were obtained.

Optimizing Black Vultures nesting conditions in the areas of release
• In 2019, 8 new artificial nests were built. Based on received bird movements’ satellite data and analyzes, the identifying of potential breeding territories is still ongoing.

Establishment and adequate management of agro-silvo pastoral complexes and Fallow Deer (Dama dama) breeding sanctuary in Kotlenska Planina SPA
• A total of 80 Fallow Deer are being bred in the regions of Kotel, Levka and Kresna. This activity is strongly supported by the local hunters.

Improving food source through stimulating livestock breeding
• Providing with natural food sources is increasing;
• In 2019, a total of 91, 8695 ha of overgrown pastures were cleared.

 Restocking of European Souslik
• The regular release of Sousliks in Kotlenska planina and Sinite kamani SPAs is still on. So far, 183 and respectively 137 animals of the total of 280 planned for each site were released (64 ind. in 2019).
Providing and delivering Black Vultures for release in Bulgaria
• In 2018 and 2019, two shipments with total of 22 Black Vultures were received. In 2020, another one with 15 Black Vultures is expected.
• From 2018 to 2019, a total of 14 Black Vultures were released according to three different methods - from hack, hack in aviary and from aviary in the regions of Sliven, Kotel and Vratza.

Black Vultures pre-release, release and post-release care
• Parvolet - the first Griffon Vulture hatched at the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center, was released in 2019 from vulture adaptation aviary at “Sinite kamani” Nature Park. 
The first Black Vultures pair released within the program for the species reintroduction in Bulgaria is now a fact.