Alarming results from the monitoring of the Egyptian vulture nesting population in Bulgaria [ 2009-07-08 06:34:15 ]


Since 2003 BSPB/Birdlife Bulgaria has been carrying out regular monitoring of the Egyptian vulture population in Bulgaria. Nowadays it is the most endangered raptor specie in Europe and every year its number is decreasing rapidly both in Bulgaria and all over the continent.

In 2009 BSPB is proceeding with conservation activities altogether with the regular monitoring. This year 32 pairs and one solitary bird with an occupied nesting territory have been recorded with great efforts. Till now 23 pairs (72%) have started incubating and most of them have chicks. Also another 58 historically known territories were confirmed to be abandoned.

Results show tendency of decreasing of the population with two nesting territories less than the previous year. Two territories in the Eastern Rhodopes known to be active during the last 20 years left unoccupied for the first time this year. We also have two pairs less in the Northeastern Bulgaria. Instead of this another two nesting territories were occupied from pairs again. These results are still not final and till the end of the breeding season some new pairs could be found.

Main threat for the specie in Bulgaria which predetermines decreasing is high level of mortality of adult birds caused by different poisoning. The specie has serious threats during migration and wintering in Africa, where according to some information from Sudan (west coast of The Red sea) great dangers for the Egyptian vulture are the electricity pylons which they use for roosting during migration.

In western Balkan mountain, the monitoring of a pair of Egyptians vultures is carrying out by the Birds of prey protection society, and by Green Balkans for a pair in the Eastern Rhodopes. In the Rusenski Lom Nature park activities continue for seven years now with the support of the Nature park administration. Important observation of an almost adult bird temporary staying in a territory, searching for a nesting place, have been made by Fund for the Wild Flora and Fauna(FWFF) in the region of reintroduction of Griffon vultures in The Kotlenska mountain.

We want to express our gratitude to the colleagues who gave information from their personal observations: Marin Kurtev, Dimitar Plachyisky, Hristo Hristov, Ivaylo Ivanov, Ivaylo Dimchev, Nikolay Terziev, Valentin Katrandzhiev, Sanie Mjumjun, Dimitar Demerdzhiev, Petar Madzharov, Ljubomir Profirov.

The monitoring of the Egyptian vulture is financed by donations by Barbara Cross, Mike Roberts and Edd Keeble, Rhodope project and Frankfurt zoological society.

Ivailo Angelov