site.bta13 Black Vultures from Spain to Help Restore Rare Species’ Breeding Population in Eastern Rhodope Mountains

13 Black Vultures from Spain to Help Restore Rare Species’ Breeding Population in Eastern Rhodope Mountains
13 Black Vultures from Spain to Help Restore Rare Species’ Breeding Population in Eastern Rhodope Mountains
Cinereous (black) vultures in an adaptation aviary (Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation/Ivo Danchev Photo)

Thirteen Cinereous (black) vultures from Spain arrived in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in June, the Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) reported. The rare birds, provided by Spain’s GREFA nongovernmental organization, will be reintroduced in the wild in autumn as part of efforts to restore the breeding population of Aegypius monachus in the Bulgarian part of the Eastern Rhodopes.

It took three days to transport the birds in individual boxes from Spain to Bulgaria. They are now accommodated in a special aviary where they will get used to their new home in the months until their release. They are being monitored closely by a team of experts to ensure they are in good condition and adapting normally. 

Once released in the wild, the vultures are expected to form a colony with the birds released in the Eastern Rhodopes in 2022. Thirteen artificial nests have been built to aid them. 

Data from cameras and satellite transmitters show that the black vultures released last year have successfully socialized with the other two vulture species in the area - the endangered griffon and Egyptian vulture - as evidenced by them feeding together. Also, the black vultures undertake longer journeys: one bird flew to Romania and back, and others regularly fly to the Western Rhodopes, Balkan Range, Strandzha, and Sakar mountains.

Dobromir Dobrev, BSPB vulture expert and coordinator, said that six of the black vultures released in 2022 died this year. Two of them were shot down, one collided with a wind turbine, and another vulture died from exhaustion, he specified.

Over the next few years, the environmentalists are planning to release some ten black vultures per year as part of the ongoing programme for the restoration of the species’ breeding population in the Eastern Rhodopes. These activities are carried out by the BSPB in cooperation with Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation and with funding from the Netherlands-based Rewilding Europe organization. 

The black vulture is the largest and heaviest bird of prey in Europe. It is listed as extinct in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria.

/DS/

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By 10:20 on 14.04.2024 Today`s news

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