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Home > NEWS > Current
Power line pylon killed Berkley the adopted vulture, together with all the hopes of the environmentalists [ 2011-10-19 ] print Bookmark and Share
An extremely tragic end ceased the three-year adventures of the bird imported from Spain and released on October 14th 2011 within the Second National Vulture Festival.

The bird was adopted by the Vanchev Family from Plovdiv, who granted funds for the fitting of an expensive GPS/GSM transmitter to help us follow the adaptation and behavior of Berkley into the wild.

The transmitter was the one that helped us reveal the tragic end of the bird – several subsequent signals sent on 16-17-18 October 2011 showed that the location of the vulture did not change for hours. At the same time, the speedometer was sending signals for the device being tipped upside down, while the transmitter was fitted on the back of the bird. The last active data showed Berkley being 2 km away from its death, travelling at the speed of 83 km/h, 32 meters above the ground.

Lead by the coordinates sent by the transmitters, our team found the bird dead under a pylon from the power lines near the village of Kamen, some 16 km to the Southeast of the release site.


Berkley hatched in 2009 in Castilla la Mancha, Spain, got trapped and sent to Bulgaria in 2010 within the Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 Project. Here he was tagged and accommodated in a special aviary above Sliven, where he stayed for a whole year in order to acclimatize and accept the rocks of the Sinite kamani site as its homeland. The bird was sent to freedom by its adopters – the Vanchevs Family, representatives of the Dutch and German Embassies to Bulgaria and many kids.

Therefore, one single pylon killed the dreams and efforts of tens of environmentalists from all over Europe, who organized the travel, accommodation, upbringing and release of Berkley, hoping that one day he will nest in our country. Rest in peace, Berkley!


Non-isolated power line pylons prove to be a main killer of many rare and protected species. Birds get killed on the spot or suffer for days, crippled and burnt by the electricity, until the jackals and stray dogs put them out of their misery. The intensely developing power line network in Africa is also turning into an invincible obstacle for the migratory species, many of which fail to pass the deadly web of wires and pylons.

The problem is generally solvable – isolating the pylons through special isolators or replacing them with pylons which do not threaten the lives of the birds.
Only the will and collaboration of the companies, serving the power lines are required.

On behalf of all vulture lovers and especially on behalf of the project team, we are calling for isolating the power lines in order to stop the tragic losses and secure the return of the vultures in Bulgaria!


For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova – project manager – +359 885219557, ekmetova@greenbalkans.org




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The route of Berkley, revealed by its transmitter The signals become worryingly dense The killer pylon can be seen from GoogleEarth Our horrible suspicions are confirmed
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Unfortunately, there is little doubt which the bird is The tags and transmitter are found with the body, RIP, Berkley! An isolated pylon Such pylon would have saved Berkley's life


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