The project
» The project
Goal and objectives of Project Greater chance for Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Bulgaria - Lesser Kestrel Recovery, LIFE11 NAT/BG/360

Supporting the populations of the globally endangered Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Bulgaria through direct conservation measures and wide public involvement.


  • Maintaining and enhancing Lesser Kestrel habitats;
  • Identifying and promoting the most beneficial and effective “Lesser Kestrel Friendly” land-use practices;
  • Restocking the Lesser Kestrel in Bulgaria through captive breeding and translocation of non-fledged birds from Spain;
  • Establishing and maintaining a free colony of Lesser Kestrels in Sakar SPA and providing favourable conditions for natural re-establishment of the species in Byala reka and Krumovitsa SPAs;
  • Creating positive attitude towards Lesser Kestrel conservation through promotion of eco-tourism, organic farming and traditional cattle breeding and pastoral practices;
  • Establishing a functioning network of stakeholders to secure ongoing monitoring of target habitats and species;
  • Improving the overall knowledge on the species and developing a scientific network of experts to exchange information, best practices and “know-how” on Lesser Kestrel conservation.
Project activities:
  • Clearing pastures and supporting local animal grazing to enhance the habitat quality;
  • Developing appropriate management prescriptions to be mainstreamed in the NATURA 2000 Management Plans of the target sites;
  • Developing a Lesser Kestrel National Action Plan;
  • Developing and disseminating a manual containing Lesser Kestrel friendly construction practises;
  • Securing nesting sites to stimulate natural expansion and re-establishment of Lesser Kestrels;
  • Maintaining a captive breeding stock at the breeding facilities of DEMA (Spain), securing chicks to be translocated and released in Sakar SPA;
  • Setting up a captive breeding stock at Green Balkans’ Wildlife Rescue Center;
  • Establishing a Lesser Kestrel hacking facility and a Lesser Kestrel Demonstration Centre in Sakar SPA;
  • Studying the closest Lesser Kestrel colonies in Turkey and Greece;
  • Applying “state-of-art” satellite technology to monitor birds’ migration and behaviour;
  • Implementing an interactive educational programme and mobilizing wide public support;
  • Developing a network of experts to secure information and “know-how” exchange.
Expected results
  • Newly established pastures and grasslands as Lesser Kestrel foraging habitat;
  • Identified and promoted Lesser Kestrel friendly land-use practices;
  • Prepared and endorsed National Action Plan for Lesser Kestrel;
  • Installed nesting boxes and artificial structures to secure safe nesting sites in the target SPAs;
  • Lesser Kestrel chicks translocated from Spain and accommodated in Sakar SPA;
  • Captive breeding stock established and maintained at Green Balkans’ Rescue Center in Stara Zagora;
  • Lesser Kestrel hacking facility and Demonstration and Information Centre established in Sakar SPA;
  • Juvenile Lesser Kestrels released in the project area;
  • First breeding attempts of released Lesser Kestrels;
  • Raised public awareness and involvement;
  • Identified key habitats of the released falcon species;
  • Transborder network of experts dealing with Lesser Kestrel conservation and restocking.

The project is implemented within the following Natura 2000 sites:

Sakar SPA BG0002021

Byala reka SPA BG0002019

Krumovitza SPA BG0002012