If you think the holiday season is over think twice. Vultures, like people, are taking most of their vacation time in September as a young Rhodopean black vulture pair has recently demonstrated. A young black vulture pair set on a 3-week aerial adventures journey over the Rhodope Mountains.
What’s kept us busy in making the Rhodope Mountains a wilder place
The recent mortality of the Griffon Vulture is the first recorded death caused by lead poisoning for the species in Bulgaria. Tests showed old lead ammunition inside the vulture’s body and proved positive for lead poisoning as there was increased lead concentration in the blood.
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.
As part of ongoing LIFE Vultures project in June two juvenile Griffon Vultures from the Eastern Rhodopes were equipped with satellite transmitters providing critical data on the distribution, migration and possible threats to the birds, enhancing conservation of the species in the region.
Journalist from national and regional media visit Eastern Rhodopes as part of LIFE Vulture media activities
Last week journalists from local and national media took part in 3-day media trip in Rhodope Mountains rewilding area as part of “Conservation of Black and Griffon Vultures in the Rhodope Mountains” LIFE project.
Chrysoula – an immature Cinereous Vulture, tagged in 2017 in Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park in Greece, made her first trip outside Rhodopes. and it turned to be a long one – 3200 km for 17 days.
A dead Cinereous Vulture and a Golden Eagle have been recovered within a matter of days in February at the regional unit of Evros, in northern Greece, increasing the long list of rare and protected birds of prey that have been victims of human negligence. Both incidents occurred at a short distance from the protected area of Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park.
So far 72 griffon vulture chicks have hatched in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area this year – seven more than in 2018. A milestone success for the local rewilding team, this record-breaking result represents another positive step forward in the Balkan-based comeback of these magnificent birds.
As part of the LIFE Vultures project, experts from across Europe gathered in Dadia National Park recently to discuss the poisoning of vultures by veterinary drugs such as diclofenac. Their discussions will hopefully enable better decision-making in vulture conservation efforts going forwards, and boost efforts to increase black and griffon vulture populations in the Balkans.
A dead Griffon vulture was found at a short distance from a wind turbine in the regional unit of Rhodope, in Thrace, Greece on September 26.