A record number of vultures were registered on the territory of Sakar SPA

Sep. 27, 2023
Cinereous Vulture
In total, more than 20 individuals of Griffon and Cinereous Vultures were recorded in the area of the Sakar SPA, part of the European ecological network NATURA 2000. This is an absolute record in the area for the simultaneous observation of these vultures, the experts from Green Balkans and FWFF working on the "Bearded Vulture LIFE" project. Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures were reported in mid-September on the ridge of Sakar Mountain, thanks to data from satellite transmitters and information from local farmers and partners. Although only the Griffon Vulture is included as a target species for conservation in the SPA, in recent years the area has become increasingly important for Cinereous Vultures as well. Several passing and feeding individuals are regularly observed here, as well as at least one formed pair of Cinereous Vultures resting in the area of one of the artificial nests installed by Green Balkans and Foundation Kartal Nest. Thus, the region of Sakar is established as one of the most important mountains for vultures in Bulgaria, after the Eastern Rhodope Mts., Stara Planina Mts., Pirin and Rila. The area is a kind of connection between the separate colonies of the two species in the Eastern Rhodopes Mts. (Bulgaria and Greece - Dadia Forest National Park), Eastern Stara Planina Mts., as well as the Cinereous Vultures inhabiting Turkey.

In this regard, as part of the "Bearded Vulture LIFE" project, Green Balkans implements a series of direct conservation activities aimed at supporting the nesting and feeding habitats of Cinereous Vultures in Sakar.

This is also the place where, about 10 years ago, the nesting of Lesser Kestrel - one of the rarest species of falcon in the country - was restored by Green Balkans, and today the team of the project "Life for Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 supported by LIFE Program of The EU is also partnering in field activities for the Cinereous Vulture conservation.

The work of Green Balkans in Sakar for the protection and research of birds of prey in the area has been going on for over 35 years, and in addition to the listed species, environmentalists have achieved remarkable results for the protection of the Imperial Eagle in these territories.

"Bearded Vulture LIFE" (project LIFE22-NAT-BG-Bearded Vulture LIFE-101113869) is financed by the LIFE program of the European Union. 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.
Gradimir Gradev – project manager “Life for Lesser Kestrel”
phone number:  +359887210094
Ivelin Ivanov - project manager „Bearded Vulture LIFE”
phone number: +359887589995