Cinereous Vultures are released in the Kresna Gorge

Two of the four released Cinereous vultures have permanently settled in the Kresna Gorge, exploring the area and staying near the feeding site. They have started a core group that will attract, retain, and establish more birds of this species in the Gorge.

The beginning of restoration of the Cinereous vulture population in the Kresna Gorge started in March 2024 when a group of 9 birds was transported from Spain by the Vulture Conservation Foundation. The birds acclimatized in an adaptation aviary for about two months. Four vultures have already been released into the Gorge.

Are the birds getting emotionally attached?

Due to a shortage of female Cinereous vultures in the newly established colony in the Eastern Balkan Mountain, it was decided that an adult female from the group of nine in March 2024 would be released not in the Gorge but in the Kotel Mountain. The bird was separated from the others and transported, then later released there. Two months later, a male vulture from the same group was released in the Kresna Gorge. To our great surprise, we observed that the two birds quickly left their release areas and met in the Vrachanska Mountain, where they remained together and now behave as a pair in an established breeding colony under our project.

30% of reintroduced birds are roamers

One of the released vultures in the Kresna Gorge confirms the scientific fact that about 30% of released birds begin immediate migration and do not stay in the release area. The bird headed straight north and is currently near Kaliningrad. Unfortunately, data shows that if it is not caught and repatriated soon, it will become exhausted from hunger and flying.

Nature lovers, tourists, and locals can now enjoy the new species in Southwestern Bulgaria – the Cinereous vulture.

This is the first shipment of vultures within the project “Life for the Bearded Vulture”, which aims to carry out the last stage of the recovery of large vulture species, laid down in the Balkan Peninsula Vulture Conservation Action Plan (BVAP), started in 2002.

The first release of Cinereous vultures in the Kresna Gorge area was planned as part of the project “Bright Future for the black vulture” in 2018, but after the tragic poisoning of part of the Griffon vulture colony there, plans were changed.

The activities in Balkan Mountain and Kresna Gorge are carried out under the project LIFE22-NAT-BG-BEARDED VULTURE LIFE-101113869, which is co-financed by the LIFE program of the EU and is a partnership between Green Balkans, Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, BEPF, NWSFE, NP Sinite Kamani,  EVN Bulgaria, VCF, Mivus Group. Additional co-financing has also been provided by the Bioparc de Doue and Sainte Croix zoos in France.

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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