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The Balkan Vulture Census 2014

The Balkan Vulture Census 2014

02.12.2014
Despite the poor weather and fog, our team were on site to assist the implementation fo the coordinated census. Our results are as follows:
  • Vrachanski Balkan - the weather was poor throughout the day, yet some days earlier the photo-trap on site had captured the presence of over 22 different vultures. Among them were guests from nearby release sites - Kresna ,Central Balkan, Sliven and Kotel, as well as two non-tagged immature birds. The good news is that there were several birds over four years, which means that we could soon expect the formation of breeding pairs here.
  • Central Balkan - a team of volunteers reported a total of four tagged vultures and enjoyed very pleasant weather.
  • Sinite kamani - the weather was unstable but allowed the reporting of a total of 10 tagged and a single non-tagged juvenile vulture. There were several elder birds here also so our team is very eager to follow their future progress.
  • Kotel - the weather remained poor throughout the day, but allowed for the identification of the two adult birds, which have nested in the area for three subsequent years.
The presence of sub-adult and adult birds just before the start of the breeding season is very hopeful for the team, which is looking forward to the up-coming nesting period and hoping on the formation of breeding pairs in the areas of release.

Preliminary results show that one of “our” birds will most probably nest for yet another year in Macedonia, while at least three other “Balkan Mountain”  vultures are currently found in the natural colony of Griffons in the Eastern Rhodopi Mountains.


The Census is carried out for a tenth year and is initiated by our colleagues from BirdLife Bulgaria, who traditionally report the roosting sites in the Eastern Rhodopes. The campaign is also joined by Greece, Serbia and Macedonia.
The coordinated census is done to assess the overall number and trends of the Griffon Vulture populations on the Balkans. Thanks to the marking schemes implemented in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Greece and Israel, we often manage to compile very interesting stories about the travels and adventures of the vultures.


We are grateful to all volunteers and teams, who joined the census!

For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova
Project manager of the Vultures Return in Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 885 219 557; ekmetova@greenbalkans.org