site.btaRecord-High Number of Vultures Registered in Sakar Protected Area in September
More than 20 griffon and cinereous (black) vultures were registered in the Sakar Protected Area in mid-September, which is a record-high number for the simultaneous observation of these protected species. The birds were registered through satellite transmitters and information by local farmers and partners, the Green Balkans and the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF) environmental organizations reported.
The Sakar Protected Area is part of the NATURA 2000 network of protected sites in Europe. Only the griffon vulture is listed as a vulture species to be protected there, but in the last several years the area has been growing in importance for the black vulture as well, with regular sightings of foraging birds and a pair resting in the area of one of the artificial nests installed by Green Balkans and the Kartal Nest Foundation. This makes Sakar one of the most important mountains for vultures in Bulgaria after the Eastern Rhodopes, the Balkan Range, Pirin, and Rila. The area appears to connect the separate colonies of the two species in Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkiye.
Sakar is important for other rare birds of prey as well, such as the lesser kestrel and the imperial eagle. Conservation and research activities in the protected area are carried out under several programmes funded by the EU’s LIFE programme, including LIFE for Bearded Vulture and LIFE for Lesser Kestrel.