The first weekend in September saw a crowd of more than 40 people gather in the town of Madzharovo, in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, to mark International Vulture Awareness Day Taking place across the world on this weekend every year, the day is designed to publicise and promote the conservation of vultures to a global audience, and to celebrate the splendour of these endangered birds.
What’s kept us busy in making the Rhodope Mountains a wilder place
With an informative publication, Rewilding Europe and ARK Nature present a new way to support Europe’s scavengers.
Despite its catastrophic impact on Asian vulture populations in the 1990s, veterinary diclofenac is still used and marketed in countries such as Spain and Italy. The Vulture Conservation Foundation, a partner of Rewilding Europe in the LIFE Vultures project in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area, has launched a campaign to ban its use in Europe.
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. Held between May 12 and 17 on the banks of the Studen Kladenets Reservoir, the event, attended by everyone from small children to volunteers and students, proved incredibly popular with young Bulgarian nature lovers.
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.
Torrential rain and Vultures sightings accompanied the first LIFE Vultures media trip in the Eastern Rhodopes
Torrential rain and a lot of vultures sightings accompanied the first LIFE Vultures trip in the Eastern Rhodopes within the frames of the project.
A visually stunning new exhibition, showcasing the natural wonders of the Eastern Rhodopes, is wowing visitors by making the Bulgarian capital Sofia a wilder place. 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 restrictive veterinary legislation in Bulgaria and the proximity of our 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.
Who said that the black vultures live only in the mountains, far away from people? Our long work on those rare and significantly beautiful vultures confirms, every time we have the chance to observe them, 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 food.
As part of an ongoing reintroduction of red and fallow deer in the area, the animals will change habitats through grazing and provide an important prey base for local carnivores and scavengers.