As part of the LIFE Vultures project, experts from across Europe gathered in Dadia National Park recently to discuss the poisoning of vultures by veterinary drugs such as diclofenac. Their discussions will hopefully enable better decision-making in vulture conservation efforts going forwards, and boost efforts to increase black and griffon vulture populations in the Balkans.
The GPS tagging of vultures and reintroduction of wild herbivores in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area is now demonstrating how Rewilding Europe’s Circle of Life approach can really help the comeback of scavengers.
Published as part of the LIFE Vultures project, the colourful publication gives kids a fascinating insight into the feathered denizens of the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area.
Despite its catastrophic impact on Asian vulture populations in the 1990s, veterinary diclofenac is still used and marketed in countries such as Spain and Italy. The Vulture Conservation Foundation, a partner of Rewilding Europe in the LIFE Vultures project in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area, has launched a campaign to ban its use in Europe.
With the slogan “Become an explorer”, this year’s Kartali Nature Camp inspired more than 60 people to explore the dramatic beauty of Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, and to learn more about the local LIFE Vultures Project. Held between May 12 and 17 on the banks of the Studen Kladenets Reservoir, the event, attended by everyone from small children to volunteers and students, proved incredibly popular with young Bulgarian nature lovers.
Portugal, or at least the region in which we stayed, was far richer in wildlife than most if not all of Denmark. The diversity and sheer number of bird species we witnessed far outcompeted anything I’ve seen even in the largest nature reserves in my country. Even so, when we entered the Faia Brava reserve, the difference was immediately noticeable. While the towns and arable fields of the surrounding landscapes had been home to a great number of animals, the reserve was in a league of its own.
The European Commission has approved the LIFE proposal “Conservation of Black and Griffon vultures in the cross-border Rhodope Mountains”, developed by Rewilding Europe in partnership with Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/Birdlife Bulgaria, WWF Greece, Vulture Conservation Foundation and Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece.
On September 17th, the seventh web-based seminar of the European Rewilding Network took place and this time members from several rewilding sites in Europe discussed how to restore food chains and the ways rewilding contributes to this. The webinar specifically addressed the crucial importance of dead animals in nature and consequently the chances for scavengers feeding upon them, all to restore natural food chains in our European ecosystems: the Circle of Life.
Rewilding Europe shares the concerns of the Vulture Conservation Foundation and BirdLife International that Europe’s vultures are now at extremely high risk. Rewilding Europe supports their efforts for banning veterinary diclofenac in Europe. Both organizations have sent to the EU Commission and the EU member states a formal request for them to start a Referral procedure for a withdrawal of marketing authorization of veterinary diclofenac under Article 35 of Directive 2001/82/EC, based on its risks for vulture populations in Europe.
On January 9, the newly established Italian NGO “Rewilding Apennines” signed a contract with Rewilding Europe, about a 3-year workplan, developed by the two organisations together during the last months of 2013. This after the official announcement the past October during WILD 10, the World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain, that the Central Apennines have been selected as the sixth area within the Rewilding Europe initiative.