Team of experts in different areas will join their forces to support the recovery of the rarest species of Falcon in Bulgaria – the Saker Falcon, and its key habitats in Bulgaria and Southern Romania. LIFE Project Life for Falcons has started at the end of 2021 and it will be carried out in international partnership between BSPB and Green Balkans, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Romanian Ornithological Society, Union of Hunters and Anglers in Bulgaria, The Habitat Foundation and University of Tuebingen.
The main goal of the project activities is securing the increase of the population of the endangered Saker Falcon according to the International and National Action plans for the species. By applying innovative approaches and best practices safe spaces in proper habitats for the species as well as for rest and wintering of the falcons from the bigger Carpathian populations will be secured.
The species was relatively often in Bulgaria and Southern Romania, but after the 1950s its population rapidly declines as a results of different threats – shooting, nests robbing, catching the birds from the wild nature, poisoning and electrocution. In Southern Romania today there are several nesting areas, but in Bulgaria there is only 1 confirmed breeding pair, released in the nature as a part of the rewilding program of the Wildlife Rescue Breeding Center in Stara Zagora.
The main focal areas of work for the team are:
- Mitigating the main threats for the species in key areas. Amongst the main threats are poaching, intentional poisoning or poisoning as a result of the excessive or wrong usage of pesticides, nests robbing, death from the electricity. We are planning to secure dangerous powerlines, to guard nests and to place nesting boxes on safe places for the falcons, working with the institutions, pigeon keepers, hunters, farmers and other stakeholder.
- Improvement the food supply in key territories for the falcon by maintaining the good conditions of the habitats, strengthening the souslik colonies, rescuing the souslik colonies in risk, pilot breeding and reintroducing of the Romanian hamster in new and suitable habitats, building wild pigeon lofts, etc.
- Improving of the nesting conditions for the species by placing platforms for nesting and planting local tree species.
- Significant improving of the engagement, knowledge and capacity building of key stakeholders for sustainable results. Creating a network of local supporters.
- Sharing the gained experience and best practices in restoration of the Saker Falcon, souslik, Romanian hamster and their habitats.
The activities will be held in 28 Natura2000 areas in Bulgaria and Southern Romania and they will support improvement of the habitats in these areas as well as the conservation of other species living there and facing the same threats.
The website of the project will be announced in the following months along and you will find there all the news and activities within the project.
The "Securing the recovery of the endangered Saker Falcon in Bulgaria and Southern Romania" (LIFE20 NAT/BG/001162) project is of 5 years duration and receives funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.