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Issue II, July 2017
 

Conservation of black and griffon vultures in the Rhodope mountains

In this issue you can find out more about our LIFE vultures communication and rewilding and  actions from the beginning of the year. A lot has been achieved these few months. For a couple of weeks in May we made Sofia, Bulgaria's capital, a wilder place with the first project exhibition "Lords of the Rhodopean skies". The opening also marked the 25th anniversary of the EU’s Habitats Directive and LIFE Programme. This key milestone was celebrated throughout Europe on May 21 with Natura 2000 Day. Further progress was made in the rewilding of Rhodope mountains  in Bulgaria. More red and fallow deer were released in the Eastern Rhodopes, thus increasing the natural food availability for Bulgaria’s only indigenous griffon vulture population. Last but not least, we will tell you a fascinating story about an unexpected visit of a black vulture in a small Greek village.

Lords of the Rhodopean Skies: a wildlife exhibition made the Bulgarian capital a wilder place

 




 


A visually stunning new exhibition, showcasing the natural wonders of the Eastern Rhodopes, made Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, a wilder place in May. Titled “Lords of the Rhodopean Skies”, it features 32 images depicting some of the most astonishing natural sights of the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area. The pictorial highlight of the exhibition were the awe-inspiring shots of Rhodopean griffon and black vultures.  See more:


 

Young Bulgarian explorers gathered at the second Kartali Nature Camp



With the slogan “Become an explorer”, this year’s Kartali Nature Camp inspired more than 60 people to explore the dramatic beauty of Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, and to learn more about the local LIFE Vultures Project. The camp was held between May 12 and 17 on the banks of the Studen Kladenets Reservoir and was attended  from people age - small children with their parents to volunteers and students. See more:

More vultures equipped with satellite transmitters in the Rhodope Mountains

 

Ten griffon vultures (nine adults and one juvenile) in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains were fitted with satellite transmitters at the end of May. These will provide critical data on the distribution, migration and possible threats to the birds, enhancing conservation of the species in the region. The team also fitted the birds with colour rings and numbered wing tags and collected blood and biological sample. See more:

 


 

An unexpected visit of a Black Vulture in Alexandroupoli, in Greece

Who said that the black vultures live only in the mountains, far away from people? WWF Greece long work with those rare and  beautiful vultures can prove this wrong.It seems that despite the fact that the black vultures are usually lonely birds, they can suddenly appear in residential areas near big cities, mainly as an attempt to find easy food. These unexpected encounters usually bring some joy and excitement. See more:

More red and fallow deer released in the Rhodope Mountains


In early February further progress was made in the rewilding of the Rhodopes area in Bulgaria. The Rewilding Rhodopes team released nine red deer in the nature reserve of Studen Kladenets, and a group of fallow deer near Tintiava, in Rhodope mauntain rewilding area. The 10-year aim of this reintroduction is to establish a new population of at least 50 free living red deer in this part of  the Rhodopes. See more:


 

First LIFE Vultures media trip in the Rhodope Mountains

 
 

Six journalists from a number of national and regional media, took part in the journalistic trip at the end of last week. The torrential rain  did not prevent the project team “Preservation of Black and Griffon Vultures in the Rhodope Mountains” to present key observation, nesting and feeding places for the vultures and the conservation activities related to the preservation of these rare birds.  See more:

The restrictive veterinary legislation in Bulgaria and the proximity of Bulgairia country to Turkey, where contagious diseases come from, hinders the implementation of European regulations related to the feeding of vultures and the creation of vulture restaurants aimed at satisfying the food requirements of vultures.These are some of the conclusion that were reached at the  “International Workshop on Supplementary Feeding Strategies for Vultures” that was held in Haskovo at the end of April. The two-day seminar was attended by representatives of the state institutions, including Regional environmental Agency, Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety and a number of non-governmental organizations, including the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Green Balkans, Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna,  Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation. The seminar was organized by the Vulture Conservation Foundation within the frames of project “Conservation of Black and Griffon Vultures in the Rhodope Mountains”.During the workshop were also discussed in details the main issues and challenged regarding on the transposition and national regulations of the relevant EU directives.   See more
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LIFE14 NAT/NL/000901
 

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