Tourist Access to Egyptian Vulture Nest Blocked [ 2009-06-03 03:54:44 ]


On May 24th , 2009 a team from BSPB found a pair of Egyptian Vultures, in Municipality of Provadia, within the Provadiysko-Royaksko Plateau Natura 2000 zone, breeding in a cliff niche, which was accessible by people by means of a iron bridge built to develop ecotourism.
Early morning the next day, BSPB started daily guarding of the nest; in the afternoon, after consultation with the Municipality, BSPB blocked the bridge to visitors by fencing it off with barbed wire.
On May 27th, upon being alerted of the problem by BSPB, the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters- Varna (RIEW) carried out an inspection resulting in the Municipality of Provadia receiving instructions to take additional measures to minimize the possibility of breeding failure due to human interference. Additionally, the necessary construction to permanently block the bridge was to be supervised by the BSPB.
On May 30th workers from the Municipality of Provadia under the supervision of BSPB installed a metal grid (3x3 m), blocking the access to the bridge. During the building process, the bird’s behavior was observed continuously through a telescope. Despite an observed raised level of alertness due to construction noise, the bird remained on the nest without interruptions to egg incubation throughout the work period.
BSPB received important field and logistic support in guarding the nest by the local Touristic and Nature Conservation Society “Orlovi skali” (Eagle Cliffs). On June 2nd sign boards were installed, informing visitors that the bridge is closed and under surveillance.

BSPB will continue daily nest guarding in cooperation with the Touristic and Nature Conservation Society “Orlovi skali”, the Municipality of Provadia and the Regional Police Direction in Provadia in order to protect the vulture pairs’ chances of breeding success and the eventually resulting nestlings.

This incident involving an Egyptian Vulture nest under threat is one of the most striking examples in Bulgaria of insufficient control and mitigation of the ecological and environmental impacts of ecotourism development projects, often, like in this case, funded by the European Union. In Bulgaria, such projects are too often planned and developed without proper expert consultation, and prove, ironically, to be a threat to biodiversity. For these reasons, the BSPB provides necessary assistance, advice and information to institutions and organizations applying for ecotourism development projects in Bulgaria.