The incredible return of Griffon vulture to Bulgaria’s Eastern Balkan Mountains

Dorothy S. Bass
The incredible return of Griffon Vulture to Bulgaria's Eastern Balkan Mountains
Griffon Vultures in Eastern Balkan Mountains. Credit: Hristo Peshev,

Fifty years right after presumably getting to be extinct as a breeding species in Bulgaria, the Griffon vulture, a single of the major birds of prey in Europe, is back in the Jap Balkan Mountains. Since 2009, a few area conservation NGOs—Green Balkans—Stara Zagora, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Birds of Prey Defense Modern society, have been functioning on a prolonged-expression restoration application to bring vultures back to their previous breeding variety in Bulgaria. The plan is supported by the vulture Conservation Basis, the Government of Extremadura, Spain, and EuroNatur. Its final results have been described in the open-access, peer-reviewed Biodiversity Data Journal.

Two substantial-scale projects funded by the EU’s Existence instrument, a single of them ongoing, aid the import of captive-bred or recovered vultures from Spain, France and zoos and rehabilitation facilities across Europe. Birds are then accommodated in special acclimatization aviaries, individually tagged and produced into the wild from 5 launch sites in Bulgaria. Employing this method, a complete of 153 Griffon vultures were unveiled in between 2009 and 2020 from two adaptation aviaries in the Kotlenska Planina Exclusive Safety Location and the Sinite Kamani Character Park in the Jap Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria.

Immediately after some 50 many years of absence, the pretty initially thriving copy in the location was claimed as early as 2016. Now, as of December 2020, the neighborhood inhabitants is made up of more than 80 permanently current people, among the them about 25 breeding pairs, and has already generated a total of 31–33 chicks efficiently fledged into the wild.

“Why vultures, of all creatures? Simply because they have been exterminated, nonetheless give an remarkable support for people and nutritious ecosystems,” Elena Kmetova-Biro, first job supervisor for the Eco-friendly Balkans NGO points out.

  • The incredible return of Griffon Vulture to Bulgaria's Eastern Balkan Mountains
    Vulture adaptation aviary. Credit rating: Inexperienced Balkans,
  • The incredible return of Griffon Vulture to Bulgaria's Eastern Balkan Mountains
    Vulture tagging. Credit history: Hristo Peshev,

“We have missing about a third of the vultures set cost-free in that internet site, mainly due to electrocution soon following launch. The birds predominantly forage on feeding web sites, exactly where the group offers lifeless domestic animals gathered from local owners and slaughterhouses,” the researchers say.

“We, however, think about the institution section of the reintroduction of Griffon vulture in this unique site as properly completed. The inhabitants is nevertheless dependent on conservation actions (supplementary feeding, isolation of dangerous energy strains and accidental poisoning prevention), but the region of the Jap Balkan Mountains can at this time be regarded as a one of the only 7 current standard places for the species in the mainland Balkan Peninsula and 1 of the five which provide as inhabitants source internet sites.”

When conservation perform pays off: Following 20 years, the Saker Falcon breeds all over again in Bulgaria

More details:
Elena Kmetova–Biro et al, Re-introduction of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in the Eastern Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria – completion of the establishment section 2010-2020, Biodiversity Details Journal (2021). DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.9.e66363

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The outstanding return of Griffon vulture to Bulgaria’s Japanese Balkan Mountains (2021, May possibly 17)
retrieved 23 August 2021

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