“My job is to make sure that the bird drinks the next day”, Master Hussain

“My job is to make sure that the bird drinks the next day”, declares Hussain, the esteemed master of fountains. Hailing from the village of Streltsi, Bai Husein is a skilled artisan whose craftsmanship almost slipped away from the Balkan Mountain. His expertise lies in constructing and restoring mountain fountains, providing communities and wildlife with access to pristine spring water.

Remarkably, Bai Husein undertakes this noble endeavor without seeking monetary compensation; he does it for „hayir”, a Turkish expression denoting selfless acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Whether for the sake of remembrance or the well-being of loved ones, Husein’s altruistic efforts leave a mark on the communities he serves.

In the Kotel Mountain, Husein tends to a network of 40 fountains, diligently repairing, rejuvenating, and cleaning each one. His commitment goes beyond mere maintenance; it embodies a dedication to preserving the life-giving essence of these fountains.

Notably, Bai Husein has taken on the role of mentor to our colleague, Stamen Stanchev. Together, they are working to revitalize the once-dry troughs of ancient mountain fountains, ensuring that the cool, gushing water flows once again.

Where there are no natural lakes and sufficiently large and full-flowing rivers, in the past, man-made reservoirs and fountains with troughs were the only solution for obtaining water for cattle. Recently, livestock is grazing mainly on communal pastures and watering places are about to be maintained comunali. This lets the livestock breeders make them light and with cheap materials – e.g. nylon. Ponds and small reservoirs on the terrain are a good opportunity for arrangement of watering places, but they require bigger investments and this discourages the livestock breeders using communal pastures. It is important to note that watering places are useful not only for livestock but also for wildlife and some even for the people.

In dry/calcareous terrains, where the rock is usually permeable (e.g. limestone) such Kotlenska Mountain, watering places are scarce and any available one depends on regular maintenance.

LIFE for Bearded Vulture project provides for mapping all available and potential watering places mainly in Kotlenska Mountain and (re)creation of tens of fountains with troughs, small ponds, reservoirs etc. where it is convenient to place these to greater benefit of livestock, wildlife (e.g. vultures, mammals, amphibians, reptilians etc.) and people.

You too can help the vultures

„Bearded Vulture LIFE” is co-financed with 80% by the EU programme LIFE and French Bioparc Conservation and Sainte – Croix Biodiversite.
For the remaining 20% we need your help.

Together we can help the restoration and survival of these endangered birds in our skies!

The LIFE program of the European Union finances the “Life for the Bearded Vulture” project (project 101113869 LIFE22-NAT-BG-Bearded Vulture LIFE).

The opinions expressed in the news are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the European Union’s or CINEA’s views. Neither the European Union nor the grant provider can be held responsible for the opinions expressed.

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