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.
Following multiple releases of both species, monitoring data shows populations of red and fallow deer are now thriving in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area and beyond. This is good news for predators, scavengers and local nature-based businesses.
As part of the long-term restoration of deer populations in the Rhodope Mountains, the latest reintroduction will further support the area’s endangered vulture species – as well as other scavengers and carnivores – by revitalising food chains and creating a healthier, more naturally balanced ecosystem.
A fun-packed programme, including a colourful dramatic performance, saw visitors of the visitor centre in the Rhodope Mountains, learn more about vultures and vulture conservation.
Chrysoula, a juvenile black vulture fitted with a GPS transmitter, recently made a 3200-kilometre, 17-day journey over the Balkans. Her incredible aerial circuit gives the Rhodope Mountains rewilding team new insight into vulture behaviour and will help ongoing vulture conservation efforts in the area.
Elitsa Kapushev is a Bulgarian student at the University of Berlin. Visiting an Iranian summer school focused on the environment in August, she chose to present the work of the Rewilding Rhodopes team.
With its breathtaking images of vultures and other wild nature, the “Lords of the Rhodopean Skies” exhibition thrilled attendees in three Bulgarian cities and raised the profile of the ongoing rewilding initiative in the Rhodope Mountains.
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.