European Rewilding Network

LIFE for Kresna Gorge

Kresna Gorge is situated in South-west Bulgaria along the Struma River valley. The project is designed to reduce the impact of indirect threats on birds of prey and to restore the populations of species emblematic for the area.

Project: LIFE for Kresna Gorge
Region: Kresna Gorge
Type of protection: Part of Pirin National Park, Tisata Reserve
Habitat types: 6210, 6220, 6170, 91AA, 9560, 9530, 92C0, 95A0
Keystone species: Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Testudo graeca, Testudo hermanni, Gyps fulvus, Neophron percnopterus
Fauna (mega) species present: Ursus arctos, Canis lupus
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Re-introductions / re-stockings of locally extinct or rare key wildlife species, or breeding of such species with the goal to release them into the wild, Successful agreements with hunting entities about sustainable hunting and the development of wildlife watching tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: To restore the natural ecosystem of Kresna Gorge and restore the local populations of Griffon, Black, Egyptian and Bearded Vultures and Fallow deer.
To restore the 4 European vulture species, so they can fly over herds of transhumant sheep and cattle herds, but also over herds of wild fallow deer in lower parts and chamois and ibexes in higher altitudes.
Uniqueness of the project: Very rare in Europe, the existance of large carnivores (Brown Bear, Wolf, Jackal) and vultures to feed on their leftovers. Combination between low (130 m) valley and high mountains (nearly 3000 m) and Mediterranean, continental and alpine climate.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Griffon, Black and Egyptian Vultures are present with about 15, 10 and 6 pairs respectively, and about 1000 Fallow deer.
Results so far: Since 2010 FWFF is working on reintroduction on Griffon Vulture in the area and recently about 20 individuals are frequently present, more than 40 are available on passage and the Egyptian vulture is returning attracted by the Griffons. The first 12 Fallow deer are kept in a fenced area to introduce the local people for their future re-introduction into the area.
Inspirational value: To have wild species around again, which have been extinct for decades, evokes childhood memories of elder people. Views of a soaring group of Griffon Vultures above the cliffs, grazing deer and autochthonous cattle inspire the aging local population and give people a hope to share the rewilding Kresna Gorge with their kids and bring them back to live in the region. LIFE for Kresna Gorge opens a variety of opportunities for locals to start some new business. We are all inspired by the first human baby to be born in the village of Rakitna for over a ten years period, just because the project gives a young couple the chance to work and plan its future here.
Experience you would like to share: Reintroduction of Griffon Vulture and European Souslik, grasslands management through grazing
Experience you would like to gain: Reintroduction of Fallow Deer, Ibex, Bald Ibis, Egyptian, Bearded and Black Vultures
Map
Country
Bulgaria
Start year
2003
Size (ha)
10000
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Vulture

Kresna Gorge is situated in South-west Bulgaria along the Struma River valley. The project is designed to reduce the impact of indirect threats on birds of prey and to restore the populations of species emblematic for the area.

Map
Country
Bulgaria
Start year
2003
Size (ha)
10000
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Vulture
Specification
Project: LIFE for Kresna Gorge
Region: Kresna Gorge
Type of protection: Part of Pirin National Park, Tisata Reserve
Habitat types: 6210, 6220, 6170, 91AA, 9560, 9530, 92C0, 95A0
Keystone species: Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Testudo graeca, Testudo hermanni, Gyps fulvus, Neophron percnopterus
Fauna (mega) species present: Ursus arctos, Canis lupus
Description
Type of project: Large-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including herbivores, carnivores and/or scavengers being present, Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, Pilot projects focusing on supporting key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the ecosystem, Re-introductions / re-stockings of locally extinct or rare key wildlife species, or breeding of such species with the goal to release them into the wild, Successful agreements with hunting entities about sustainable hunting and the development of wildlife watching tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in natural numbers, Successful examples of enterprises that are based on economic values of the wild and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income
Aim and vision: To restore the natural ecosystem of Kresna Gorge and restore the local populations of Griffon, Black, Egyptian and Bearded Vultures and Fallow deer.
To restore the 4 European vulture species, so they can fly over herds of transhumant sheep and cattle herds, but also over herds of wild fallow deer in lower parts and chamois and ibexes in higher altitudes.
Uniqueness of the project: Very rare in Europe, the existance of large carnivores (Brown Bear, Wolf, Jackal) and vultures to feed on their leftovers. Combination between low (130 m) valley and high mountains (nearly 3000 m) and Mediterranean, continental and alpine climate.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: Griffon, Black and Egyptian Vultures are present with about 15, 10 and 6 pairs respectively, and about 1000 Fallow deer.
Results so far: Since 2010 FWFF is working on reintroduction on Griffon Vulture in the area and recently about 20 individuals are frequently present, more than 40 are available on passage and the Egyptian vulture is returning attracted by the Griffons. The first 12 Fallow deer are kept in a fenced area to introduce the local people for their future re-introduction into the area.
Exchange
Inspirational value: To have wild species around again, which have been extinct for decades, evokes childhood memories of elder people. Views of a soaring group of Griffon Vultures above the cliffs, grazing deer and autochthonous cattle inspire the aging local population and give people a hope to share the rewilding Kresna Gorge with their kids and bring them back to live in the region. LIFE for Kresna Gorge opens a variety of opportunities for locals to start some new business. We are all inspired by the first human baby to be born in the village of Rakitna for over a ten years period, just because the project gives a young couple the chance to work and plan its future here.
Experience you would like to share: Reintroduction of Griffon Vulture and European Souslik, grasslands management through grazing
Experience you would like to gain: Reintroduction of Fallow Deer, Ibex, Bald Ibis, Egyptian, Bearded and Black Vultures
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