International vulture census. The Griffon vulture’s numbers are increasing on the Balkans

International vulture census. The Griffon vulture’s numbers are increasing on the Balkans

The census was carried out in the beginning of the winter, when the vultures’ breeding season started. The goal was to determine the numbers of the population of the Griffon vultures on the Balkans, and their age. The annual monitoring in Bulgaria spread over the Easter Rhodopes, Stara Planina, and Kresna gorge.

Higher numbers of birds were reported in the census places in this year. The Green Balkans’, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna’s, and the Birds of Prey Protection Society’s teams, working for the species, had stated the news. There were 127 birds in total registered in the Kresna gorge, Vratsa and Kotel Balkans reintroduced and wild birds. Last year there were less vultures there – 108.

There were 184 Griffon vultures in the Arda river valley, the place of the largest colony in Bulgaria. In comparison, there were 178 registered Griffon vultures last year. This is the largest numbers of birds, that are spending the nights in Eastern Rhodopes from 2005 until now. These results are gathered as a result of the annual monitoring of the Griffon vultures by experts and volunteers from the Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds (BSPB) and “Rewilding Rhodopes”. The only survivivng natural Griffon vulture colony is situated in the Arda valley. During the census, there were other rare and protected birds of prey in the area, such as Peregrin falcon, Golden eagle, and White-tailed eagle.
According to experts form the “Bright Future for the Black Vulture” LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 project, the Griffon vulture population in the Balkans is increasing (to compare in 2015 there were 620 birds, and this year there are 724). One of the reasons for this is the international effort in species protection, part of which is also, Bulgaria.

For more information:
Elena Stoeva - Project Manager, Bright Future for Black Vulture LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project
mobile +359887574699, e-mail: