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Field activities of the ''Nature'' Academy initiative have started

Nov. 02, 2021
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These days the Green Balkans' "Life for Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 project team started the first field activities on the initiative of the "Nature" Academy.

It covers work with students from veterinary, agricultural, biological and environmental sciences, including theory and practice, with a focus on the reintroduction of extinct species in Bulgaria and a focus on the activities of the project "Lesser Kestrel Recovery" LIFE 11 NAT/BG/360, and "Bright future for Black Vulture'' LIFE 14 NAT/BG/649. Part of the program is a visit to the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center and the Center for Conservation Activities in the village of Levka near Svilengrad, national and nature parks, to get acquainted with various indigenous breeds, endemic species and more!

The focus of our work during this practice was "Using Karakachan horses to manage grasslands, such as the hunting grounds of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) and Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in the Sakar Protected Area, part of NATURA 2000". Within the activity, students of veterinary medicine from the Trakia University, participants in the project "Student Internships - Phase 2" of the Ministry of Education and Science, funded by the Operational Program "Science and Education for Smart Growth", co-financed by the European Social Fund and zoo engineering students. The Agrarian University - Plovdiv got acquainted in theory and practice with horse breeding. Among the topics discussed at the training were NATURA 2000, as a tool for conservation of species and habitats, the Karakachan horse breed and its advantage over other breeds, in breeding for the "Life for Lesser Kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/ BG/001017 project, methods of breeding and the role of horses in the reintroduction of Lesser Kestrel. The use of modern technologies for tracking and studying the behaviour of horses through GPS transmitters was presented by the team of the project "Opportunities to study the behaviour of horses in free unregulated breeding through modern monitoring technologies" funded by the Research Fund of Agricultural University - Plovdiv.

At the same time, the students of veterinary medicine, under the supervision of their mentors, had the opportunity to actively participate in the examination, planned deworming of a herd of Karakachan horses and blood sampling for paraclinical examinations.