First coordinated release of Griffon Vultures for the restoration of the extinct population in the Balkan Mountains

First coordinated release of Griffon Vultures for the restoration of the extinct population in the Balkan Mountains

The official ceremony will take place at 10,00 am in the Regional Administration of Sliven, followed by the release of 7 Griffon Vultures from the adaptation aviary at the Sinite kamani Nature Park. The Vice-president of the Republic of Bulgaria – Mr. Angel Marin will be a Patron and an official guest of the event. The ceremony will also be attended by representatives of the Vulture Conservation Foundation, Mallorca, Spain, as well as representatives of local and national institutions involved with vulture conservation.

There are presently some 56 Griffon Vultures kept in the four aviaries in Vrachanski Balkan, Central Balkan, Sliven and Kotel, secured by the Vulture Conservation Foundation, Mallorca, Spain, the Zoo of Zlin, Czech Republic and the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna. Two of the birds are the long-term inhabitants of the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Green Balkans – Stara Zagora. Reaching this step is a result of the long-term efforts within the Action Plan for the Recovery and Conservation of Vultures on the Balkan Peninsula and Adjacent Regions. these efforts are supported by the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF), Mallorca, Span, the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU). At present, the birds are under the care of our colleagues from Green Balkans, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Birds of Prey Protection Society.

On October 27th a total of 26 birds will be simultaneously released. The rest of the vultures will stay in the aviaries as they were imported only in July this year and need additional time for acclimatization and adaptation. In addition to that we hope that the remaining vultures will retain the released birds in the area, so they can be regularly fed and observed by the project team.

All Griffon Vultures released within the project are marked with yellow PVC wing-tags with a unique combination of black letters and numbers fixed to both their wings, easy to see when the bird is in flight or perched. Each vulture is also wearing a yellow plastic ring with number matching the number of the wing tags. In addition to that, 7 of the vultures will carry special radio-transmitters and a prototype GPS transmitter, developed by Green Balkans and Elektroninvest Ltd to allow for tracking their movement and dispersal in the wild. Therefore all these birds will be easy to identify in the wild.

The release will launch the first Griffon Vulture Festival to be held in Sliven. The Festival will have an information stand, vulture dummies, songs, dances and vulture workshops for kids and adults.

Become a part of this historic event and share our excitement and anxiety related to the return of a species, extinct from the mountain!

For further information contact:
Elena Kmetova – 359885219557,

Programme of the event 276,94 KB b (pdf) download