2016 Campaign to Safeguard the Nests of Egyptian Vultures
The 2015 campaign to safeguard the Egyptian vulture brought together 28 volunteers. They have guarded the twelve most vulnerable nests - or 20 of the hatchlings across the country during the most critical period – before their first flight (July-August). Besides monitoring the nests the volunteers provided safe food for the birds.
The nest guarding minimizes the risks of disturbance and poaching, which appear to be major threats during the period of hatching of the young vultures. After that the nests need to be monitored to prevent accidental falling of hatchlings or unsuccessful first attempt of flying out. In 2012 and 2013 the nest guarding programme resulted in saving four hatchlings, which is about 10% of the fledglings that left the nests in these two years.
Saving the life of each of the Egyptian Vulture hatchlings is of paramount importance for securing the future of the species in Bulgaria. At present the country harbours some 35% of the Balkan population. The trend established is rather worrying – the population number has dropped by 80% in the last 30 years.
The aim of this campaign is to raise funds for safeguarding four of the most vulnerable nests in Bulgaria located in the Eastern Rhodopes and in Rusenski Lom. The funds will cover the travel expenses of the volunteers – to reach the nests and the travel budget for providing supplementary food to the hatching pairs.
The Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is the smallest of the four vulture species occurring in Europe. Even the dodo, which became a symbol of global nature conservation, has not decreased in such a dreadful pace before disappearing. Being natural orderly vulture plays a crucial role in the ecosystem and without it many societies especially in the developing world will be facing epidemics and mass infections. The Egyptian vulture is one of the fastest declining bird species in the world. The global population of the species is estimated to be 21,000 to 67,000 individuals, only the Balkan Peninsula harbours less than 90 pairs.
Information about BSPB
BSPB is the first non-governmental conservation organization in Bulgaria, founded in 1988. It is a partner for Bulgaria of BirdLife International - a worldwide network of environmental organizations represented in over 100 countries worldwide and joining more than 10 million supporters. The BSPB has been working for the conservation of wild birds, the sites of importance for them, and of the biodiversity in its natural harmony. The BSPB works for the people – defending the public interest and the right of everyone to the intact nature and healthy living environment. The organisation has offices in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Haskovo, Ruse and Svishtov. See more www.bspb.org.