We have officially launched the Bright Future for Black Vulture Project LIFE14 NAT/BG/649

We have officially launched the Bright Future for Black Vulture Project LIFE14 NAT/BG/649

The new seven-year project, devoted on Black Vulture restoration in Bulgaria was presented with an official press-conference held on January 22nd in Sofia, Bulgaria. The meeting joined the entire project team – Green Balkans and the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF) of Bulgaria, the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) from the Netherlands and Euronatur from Germany. The only partners who could not join the event were Junta de Extremadura from Spain.

The presentation was attended by Mr. Jaime Hermida Marina (Consul and cultural advisor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain in Bulgaria), Mr.Valeri Georgiev and Mrs. Aylin Hasan from the National Service of Nature Protection at the Ministry of Environment and Waters, representatives of the Vrachanski Balkan NP,  Sinite kamani NP, CEZ Electro Bulgaria AD and EVN Bulgaria Elektrorazpredelenie, a part of the Austrian energy group EVN.

We had the unique opportunity to present the new and ambitious seven-year project Bright Future for Black Vulture LIFE14 NAT/BG/649. As a part of the ceremony and a symbol of the future cooperation and import of birds from Spain, Mr. Georgiev of MoEW accepted a dummy of a Black Vulture from Mr. Jovan Andevski of VCF.

The Bright Future for Black Vulture LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project unites the efforts of five main partners from four European countries – Green Balkans Federation of Nature Conservation NGOs and the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF) from Bulgaria, the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) from Netherlands, Junta de Extremadura from Spain and Euronatur from Germany. 

It follows the tremendous success of the Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 which has lead to the successful restoration of Griffon Vulture as a nesting species in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria, after the species has been considered extinct for over 70 years. Inspired and motivated by this success, the team has developed a continuation project with the first practical steps towards the reintroduction of Black Vulture, also considered extinct as nesting species in Bulgaria since 1992.

The project provides for facilitating the return of Black Vulture to Bulgaria through back-stopping European expertise, improving the conditions, limiting threats and elaborating national capacities.

The ultimate aim of the project is to establish a nesting population of Black Vulture in Bulgaria, in order to restore the connections between the sub-populations of the species on the Balkans (Greece) and Crimea and to these in the Alps and the Iberian Peninsula, facilitating the re-creation of a much more sustainable Pan-European population.

To achieve this, we are planning to start releasing Black Vultures, imported from Spain, starting from 2018 in the areas of Kresna, Southwestern Bulgaria, as well as Eastern Balkan Mountains. At the same time, as a part of the supplementary actions, we are planning to strengthen the newly restored population of Griffon Vultures, importing and releasing 60 more birds.

Using the experience gained so far, as well as the excellent cooperation with European experts in the field, the project will combine three well-tested approaches to reach successful ending: direct conservation measures aiming at practical work with the target species; indirect conservation measures intended to provide optimal conditions and limit identified threats, as well as capacity building and public awareness measures to secure public acceptance and cooperation.

On a European scale, the project will allow for long-term expert exchange of know-how and information on vulture species between leading European vulture experts from Spain and their Bulgarian counterparts, thus increasing the capacity for early identification of species-threatening diseases and/or natural conditions and habitat changes. It also aims at creating a functioning network of all stakeholders having relation/impact on nature conservation and reintroduction outcomes specifically NGOs, park directorates, RIEW, hunter units, forest guards, veterinaries and local communities for ongoing monitoring of the status of target habitats and reintroduced vulture species.

You can learn more about the project at:

For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova
Project manager of the Bright Future for Black Vulture
Phone: + 359 885 219 557;

Project fact-sheet 1 Mb (pdf) download