Griffon Vulture’s population in Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria remains stable. In February 89 griffon vulture pairs was registered in the Eastern Rhodopes within the regular monitoring of the species, number equal to the previous year. The Rhodope Mountains rewilding area is the only breeding area of the indigenous griffon vulture population in Bulgaria.
What’s kept us busy in making the Rhodope Mountains a wilder place
The camera will hopefully offer thrilling close-up views of a nesting vulture pair, giving watchers a better understanding of this majestic species and boosting conservation efforts.
The rare vulture was located around 30 km north-west from the boundaries of the National Park, close to a village named Tsouka in Rhodopes region, where the WWF team and the representatives of Dadia Management Body moved immediately, in order to find out what happened. As always, Kiko started doing his work immediately, sniffing and … Continued
In December team from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation placed a video camera in a potential Griffon Vulture nest which will enable us to monitor closely and in real time the everyday life of these rare birds.
Zdravе, the first Bulgarian Griffon Vulture, whose flight we followed all the way to South Sudan in Africa, died. The young traveler had an interesting but unfortunately short life.
With the first anti-poison dog units patrolling the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area from 2016, their counterparts on the Greek side of the border are also carrying out equally valuable work.
Fewer griffon vultures were counted this year at the annual census of griffon vultures on the Balkan Peninsula. This year, barely 145 griffon vultures were counted along Arda River in Rhodope Mountains rewilding area, 40 fewer than in 2016. The area is home of the largest colony of griffon vultures in Bulgaria. Last year a record number of 178 griffon vultures were sighted,the highest registered during the annual roost count in the Eastern Rhodopes since 2005.
This autumn seven more artificial nests will attract black vultures in the Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria. In 2016 the first three nests for the rare birds were built and are now numbering 10 nests. Black vultures have disappeared from Bulgaria some decades ago. The idea of artificial nests is to attract birds from Dadia National Park in neighboring Greece to settle in the Eastern Rhodopes and gradually rebuild the population.
First Anti-poison Dog Unit in Bulgaria started patrolling in Rhodope Mountains in 2016. The main objective of the Unit is to create poison-free areas by controlling and removing poisoned baits before they can cause damage. However, pioneers on the Balkans are two Greek Canine Teams especially trained for the detection of poison baits. Since 2014 WWF Greece and Hellenic Ornithological Society are working in Thrace and Central Greece. Patrols cover mainly the territories of last Egyptian vultures in Greece, but not only. Here is an insight into the work of the WWF Greece’s Anti-poison team.
The birds, tagged with GPS transmitters in Dadia National Park in Greece, will offer additional insight into black vulture behaviour and movement on and around the Balkan Peninsula. By supporting conservation measures, this will hopefully reinforce the comeback of this magnificent yet endangered species.