Direct persecution

In the past, birds of prey, including vultures (which have been protected in Bulgaria since 1897), were hunted. Direct persecution used to be a major threat to vultures across Europe. However, nowadays, this threat only occurs sporadically. Over the past decade of Griffon Vultures local reintroductions, there was just one reported case of an individual shot, which happened in Turkey. In contrast, three Cinereous Vulturs were reported shot within the LIFE14NAT/BG/649 project in the past two years – one in Hungary and two in Bulgaria (Eastern Rhodopes and near Dobrinishte), all outside protected areas.

Combating threat in the project

  • This proposal aims to use an early warning system based on intensive GPS tracking of vultures, initially developed in the LIFE14NAT/BG/649 project and developed and spread within LIFE19 GIE/NL/001016. It allows 24/7 monitoring of tagged vultures through smartphones, enabling early intervention to prevent mass mortality and pinpoint the location and time of poisoning to inform authorities.
  • Wide-scale networking, best-practice exchange and information sharing on vulture’ conservation with some 1,500 participants from all Balkan countries and adjacent regions (Balkan Vultures FB / mailing groups)
  • Undertake a series of integrated local, regional and national events to promote the project objectives, activities, and results
  • Raise public awareness among some 20,000 visitors a year, promote vulture conservation and improve tourist flow management in the Sinite kamani Nature Park
  • Increase the capacity of organizations in Turkey, Serbia, and North Macedonia for participation in direct vulture field rescue operations and direct vulture conservation activities

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!