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Over 50 experts of 11 countries and 28 different organizations took part in the international Lesser Kestrel protection meeting, that was held in Plovdiv
Representatives of NGO’s, scientific and municipal organizations, and institutions reported on the state and protection measures, that were put in force to safeguard these rare falcons in different countries.
From 4th to 8th October Plovdiv hosted the International Expert Meeting on the Safeguard and Study of the Lesser Kestrel. This event was part of the special project carried out by Green Balkans for the European Union’s LIFE programme. Many of the participant presented their experience in working in current LIFE project in their countries.
Experts from Albania, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, France, Croatia, presented their work in carrying out the environmental activities that helped safeguard these rare birds and the increase of their numbers. The state of the population in the European part of Turkey was also reported.
Amongst the most curious examples were those from Italy, where in Puglia region in some municipalities special decrees are in force, according to which if a roof or a building is renovated, special appropriate conditions for Lesser Kestrel nesting are to be provided, the numerous colonies of which inhabit the area.
Another interesting case was presented by our Greek colleagues. In Thessaly region a local brewery has started producing beer barley, from fields sown specially for the Lesser Kestrels. During the production of the barley the use of chemicals and intensive land treatment was brought down to a minimum, as to ensure suitable hunting habitats for the rare falcons.
Good examples for Lesser Kestrel preservation presented by the hosts were of no lesser importance. As a result of the Green Balkan’s project, in partnership with EuroNatur and DEMA, the rare birds were restored as nesting specie in Bulgaria, several decades, after it was considered extinct from the country.
The participant also visited the Green Balkans’ Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center in Stara Zagora, the only place in the country for breeding of rare birds in artificial conditions. The place that was most interesting for the participant, was probably the Lesser Kestrel Release and Adaptation Module in Levka village, in which Green Balkans restored the nesting Lesser Kestrel in Bulgaria – in the NATURA 2000 site “Sakar”.
In just a short while the presentations of the meeting will be available for download in the “Lesser Kestrel Recovery” LIFE11 NAT/BG/360 website.

For further information, please contact:
Gradimir Gradev, Green Balkans, Project Manager
Lesser Kestrel Recovery, LIFE11 NAT/BG/360
Mobile: +359 885 609 289; Е-mail: