In June a herd of 49 fallow deer was released in the Madzharovo Natura 2000 site in the Rhodope Mountains. This is the third group released the rewilding area, now numbering more than 120 animals.
This relatively large group continues Rewilding Rhodopes efforts to reintroduce the species in Madjarovo and the Ivailovgrad core rewilding areas. The hopes are that with the breeding success and steady increase of the population will lead to the creation of a stable, long-term population.
Before the release, the animals spent time in an adaptation fence allowing them to get familiar with the area. During that period the animals were under constant surveillance by the team and the experts. The release site is specially selected, taking into account the availability of sufficient food and preconditions for natural displacement. Some of the female hinds still prefer the security of the fence and roam around the area during the day but tend to return to their fawns in the evening where they seem to feel at ease and well-protected.
The return of the herbivores we believe is not only benefical for the wild nature but we hope it will boost wildlife tourism in the areas in Bulgaria. “So besides the signature species in the area such as black and griffon vultures, the visitors will be able to enjoy free roaming red and fallow deer”, comments Stefan Avramov.
The biodiversity in the Rhodope Mountains is one of the richest in Europe, with wild herbivores such as the Deer Deer and the Red Deer being of decisive importance. These animals support many species in the typical mosaic landscape of the Rhodope Mountains.The deer releases are being carried out under the framework of the five-year LIFE Vultures project and through the support of Fondation Segré. Starting in 2016, this was developed by Rewilding Europe, in collaboration with the Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation, BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria and a range of other partners.