A positive site survey means the reintroduction of cinereous vultures in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area in Bulgaria can begin in 2021. Overseen by the Rewilding Rhodopes team and partners, the return of this keystone species to the area as a breeding species will enhance local food chains.
More than 70 griffon vulture chicks have so far hatched in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area in Bulgaria this year. This encouraging figure continues the upward trend in numbers experienced in recent years.
By helping to establish a stable population of deer in the area, the reintroduction will boost biodiversity through natural grazing, help scavenging species such as vultures by increasing the availability of carrion, and raise the profile of the Rhodope Mountains as a prime nature tourism destination.
Reintroduced as part of the LIFE Vultures project, the seven animals will hopefully complete the creation of a stable red deer population in the area. This population will provide an important food source for local scavengers and predators, as well as boosting biodiversity through their grazing.
This year’s final European Rewilding Network webinar, held in December, saw members from eight European countries come together online to discuss and learn the importance of leaving carrion in nature.
ARK Nature’s Circle of Life project, which aims to increase the availability of carrion in nature, began life as a groundbreaking way of helping endangered scavengers in the Netherlands. Rewilding Europe, which has already adopted the Circle of Life approach in its rewilding areas (by enabling wildlife comeback and reintroducing herbivores), is now working to scale up the project across Europe by promoting best practice, fostering dialogue and encouraging collaboration.