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A Griffon Vulture is wandering in the town of Sliven once again

A Griffon Vulture is wandering in the town of Sliven once again

16.02.2018
Vigilant citizens signaled for a Griffon Vulture roaming in the town of Sliven. The bird is a guest from Germany.
The wing tags of the vulture – K6P, helped us identify it and reveal its story.


The bird has been granted to the vulture restoration programme of Bulgaria by Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart. It hatched on 03.04.2014 and arrived in Bulgaria on 1.6.2016 and was accommodated in the vulture adaptation aviary in Central Balkan on 27.6.2016. On 10.01.2018 was temporary moved to the Wildlife Rescue Centre as a suspected victim of poisoning. On January 18th, 2018 it was finally released from the adaptation aviary of Sliven within the Vultures Back to LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project.

As a total, since 2010, more than 130 different Griffon Vultures have been accommodated in the adaptation aviary above Sliven, more than 80 have been released and only 21 have been confirmed to not have survived. The main threat for vultures in the area is electrocution. A potential threat is also the illegal use of poison against large carnivores.

Some of the birds we release, all of which originate from zoos or rehabilitation centres, do not adapt successfully to living into the wild, get disoriented or get found exhausted and emaciated. The presence of a permanent group of vultures in the area is a prerequisite for less and less such cases. In total, our activities in the area, as well as in Vrachanski Balkan, have led to the restoration of Griffon Vulture as a nesting species in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria and is a serious prerequisite for the return of Black Vulture pending within the new Vultures Back to LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 Project.

In the area of the Eastern Balkan Mountains (Sliven – Kotel) there is a permanent group of more than 30 Griffon Vultures and in 2016 for the first time, a total of 5 chicks were successfully raised within the new colony, while in 2017 already a minimum of 12 nesting pairs were confirmed, which laid at least 8 eggs and a total of 4 chicks fledged. The nesting of the vultures is a result of over 10 years of efforts of the teams of Green Balkans and the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, supported by our colleagues from the Vulture Conservation Foundation, colleagues from Spain, France, Germany and many European zoos, which a have sent captive bred birds. The newly formed colony in the Balkan Mountains also represents a serious contribution to the national population of the species in Bulgaria, which was previously only found in the Eastern Rhodopes.

For more information or signals for birds observed:
Elena Stoeva, project manager
mobile phone: +359 887 574 699
email: etilova@greenbalkans.org