Bearded Vulture LIFE

Photo: Hansruedi Weyrich

This international project, which started on 1 August 2023, aims to reintroduce the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) to Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. The project coordinator, Green Balkans, has decades of experience working with European vulture species, and has already successfully completed several reintroduction projects. The project also aims to strengthen the population of the already reintroduced Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus).

The “Bearded Vulture LIFE” project involves eight organisations from three countries. Led by the NGO “Green Balkans – Stara Zagora”, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, Foundation EkoObshtnost, EVN – Elektropradelenie Yug EAD, Severozapadno Darzhavno Predpriyatie – Vratsa, “Sinite kamani” Nature Park Directorate from Bulgaria, the Vulture Conservation Foundation from the Netherlands and the Milvus Group from Romania.

The main activities of the project also cover many other key areas.

To improve nesting conditions:

  • Placement of artificial nesting platforms for Cinereous Vultures.
  • Pilot forest management to create nesting habitats for the Cinereous vulture in the long term

Improving the food base:

  • Supporting local animal breeders, promoting extensive animal breeding,
  • Reintroduction of the Balkan Chamois in the Sinite Kamani Nature Park
  • Strengthening the populations of the Rock Partridge, European Souslik, and Tortoises in the key areas of the project.

Threat Mitigation:

  • Securing dangerous electric poles to reduce electrocution mortality,
  • Activities to prevent and detect crimes against nature, such as placing poisonous baits, poaching, etc. Increasing the capacity of responsible national institutions and others.

Tracking the outcome of reintroductions:

  • Marking and tracking with satellite transmitters,
  • Creation of an effective network of local supporters to save distressed vultures in Bulgaria and neighboring countries.

Promotion and transfer of experience:

  • Transferring the experience of Bulgaria on the reintroduction of vultures in Romania,
  • Educational activities with students,
  • Activities to promote vultures and the threats against them
  • Workshops with the target groups: state and municipal administrations, hunters, farmers, etc.

The duration of the project is 7 years (from August 2023 to July 2030).

“Bearded Vulture LIFE” (project #101113869 LIFE22-NAT-BG-Bearded Vulture LIFE) is financed by the LIFE program of the European Union.
The budget is 5 173 446.71 EUR, of which the European Union provides co-financing of 3 880 085.05 EUR.

The Milvus Group’s role in the project is to locate, manage and release vultures that have wandered into Romania, weakened or injured. In addition to providing assistance, our team has also committed to carry out a feasibility study to assess the conditions, possibilities and risks of vulture reintroduction in Romania and to develop a long-term strategy for the practical steps of a possible reintroduction.

Read more on the official page of the project.

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The opinions expressed in the news are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the grant provider can be held responsible for them.