BSPB Saves Threatened Egyptian Vulture Nest [ 2009-05-27 10:57:27 ]

 

On May 24, 2009 while performing the monthly monitoring of the Egyptian Vulture, a BSPB team found that one of the pairs in the Natura 2000 area "Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau" was nesting in a niche in the cliffs, which is easily accessible to people through the use of an iron structure built to develop ecotourism.

At 8 pm, the BSPB team observed two tourists using the iron structure to enter the cliff niche. As a result, an Egyptian vulture was disturbed and left the nest. The BSPB team followed the tourists and asked them to leave the area of the nest. Pictures had been taken of the nest, showing two eggs inside. After follow-up with local people, it was revealed to be known that only two days earlier (22.05.2009) there was only one egg in the nest. After flying away from the nesting site, the bird returned to the nesting niche and continued incubation.

The very next day, BSPB began emergency protection of the nest. On May 25 and 26 four groups of tourists were diverted from an intended visit to the cliff and were given explanations of the conservation of the globally threatened Egyptian vulture and its importance. On the evening of May 25, after consultation with the local municipal government, the traverse to the nesting niche on the structure was fenced off with barbed wire.

Given the intensity of tourist traffic in the region, a situation has been created which could expose the birds to daily disturbance; this situation is illegal according to Article 38, Paragraph 1, Items 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Law on Biological Diversity. BSPB sent a letter to Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters (RIEW) - Varna requesting an urgent inspection of the area and preparation of an order limiting the possibility of disturbance of the nest site by tourists, damage to the nest site, robbery or damage to the eggs or any eventual young, etc.

On May 27, RIEW - Varna, with participation of representatives from the Provadia Municipality and BSPB investigated and prepared a recommendation for necessary emergency measures to protect the Egyptian vultures’ chances of breeding success.
The Egyptian vulture is one of the priorities for bird conservation in Bulgaria and was included in the Global Red List with a status of "threatened." BSPB has been working for its protection since establishment of the organization in 1988.