Insufficient food availability

Changes in livestock practices, sanitation improvements in slaughterhouses, and declining wild ungulate populations have reduced vulture food availability in Bulgaria since the 1950s. Additionally, rural depopulation has further impacted livestock breeding, often leading to less suitable practices that limit food access for vultures. Intensive agriculture and livestock management, as well as abandoning traditional practices, indirectly affect vulture conservation by threatening key prey species’ survival due to habitat loss, such as souslik, tortoises, and rock partridges.

Historically, the replacement of wild ungulates with extensively reared livestock shifted vultures’ food sources. Some areas have become available for wildlife due to urbanization, making rewilding essential for restoring natural processes through reintroductions and adaptive management techniques.

Despite feasibility studies suggesting sufficient livestock and carcasses for reintroduced vultures, these resources often remain inaccessible. Livestock is kept in villages and closed intensive farms, with carcasses discarded in gorges/ravines or destroyed by incinerators.


Combating threat in the project

  • Improve food base and availability on 150-200 ha by supporting extensive farming practices;
  • Increase the size (with new 45 ha), accomplish and manage 3-5 model agro-sylvo pastoral complexes/CV breeding habitat of 150-200 ha of private protected area in line with the private land conservation approach, in order to achieve safe breeding and foraging ground for a core of at least 10 pairs of CV.
  • Optimize the supplementary feeding site network for vultures with 10 new farmers’ feeding sites/initiatives;
  • Reinforce key prey species, including threatened and conservation-dependent species (e.g. Deer, Chamois, European Souslik (listed EN in the IUCN Red list) and other small mammals, Rock Partridge (NT), Common Tortoise (VU), Hermann’s Tortoise (NT) etc.), improving their conservation status and population trends in the PA;


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!