Green Balkans’ representatives participated in the Annual Bearded Vulture Meeting

Green Balkans’ representatives participated in the Annual Bearded Vulture Meeting

In the mountain town of Cazorla, Andalusia, 140 specialists working for the Bearded Vulture conservation gathered on a three-day conference whose main theme was preserving this rarest vulture species in Europe.

At the meeting, the Green Balkans team presented the results of the Black Vulture reintroduction program launched in the country as part of the LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Bright Fututre for the Black Vulture project along with the Griffon Vulture reintroduction program part of the Recovery of the Populations of Large European Vultures in Bulgaria 2010 project.

Our work over the years has been part of the common strategy for the vulture restoration in Bulgaria and is an important prerequisite for the launching of the Bearded Vulture reintroduction - one of the symbols of Bulgarian nature conservation.

After the official program, our team took part in the traditional international football game where they presented the country worthy.

The Bearded Vulture and its reintroduction
Nowadays, Bearded Vultures are being reintroduced into 5 different regions of Europe, and it all depends on the 170 birds, part of the Bearded Vulture European Endangered Species Programme, a captive breeding network for conservation purposes, led by the Vulture Conservation Foundation, which our colleagues have been working on since 1978. In Europe, the Bearded Vultures reintroduction was launched in 1986, and is one of the most successful examples of an endangered species recovery. This initiative, led by the VCF, has secured the release of over 300 young birds in the Alps, Cazorla (Andalusia, Spain), the Central French Massif and Corsica (France) and recently in Maestrazgo (Valencia, Spain).

Since its establishment Green Balkans has been aimed at restoring the Bearded Vulture populations in Bulgaria.

In 2001 the first plan for the species reintroduction was prepared. Later, a study was carried out on the Bearded Vulture reintroduction possibilities in the Eastern Stara Planina and the Royak-Provadian Plateau. Recently, Green Balkans, in partnership with the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Birds of Prey Protection Society, have developed an action plan for the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) restoration in Bulgaria 2015-2024.

In 2007 our country participated in the captive breeding program, when two birds were sent to the Green Balkans Rescue Center, by Dr. Hans Frey from the Richard Faust Breeding Centre, in Austria. The couple bred for the first time in 2016 and since then we enjoy one or two chicks each year. Their offspring are now released in reintroduction programs abroad. In order to start a reintroduction program in Bulgaria, it is necessary to release about ten birds a year for at least several years. It is clear that this cannot happen with the only couple we have. That is why we train and prepare ourselves, relying on the community of organizations engaged in the restoration of the species to approve the start of reintroduction program in Bulgaria.

We want to thank our colleagues from the VCF and the Fundacion Gypaetus for the perfect organization of the 2018 Annual Bearded Vultures Meeting!
For additional information and contact:
Ivelin Ivanov, "Bright future for the Black vulture”project LIFE14 NAT/BG/649, Project manager
mobile phone: 0887589995; e-mail: