Four Cinereous Vultures poisoned in Bulgaria

Tragedy for nature conservation in Bulgaria: Several released Cinereous Vultures were poisoned near the village of Ticha. A bitter setback for the international reintroduction project in the Balkan Mountains.

dead Cinereous vulture

One of the four dead Cinereous Vultures, presumed to be accidental victims of poisoning.

© Green Balkans
dead Cinereous Vultures on a field

It was a sad sight that presented itself to our partners on 14 March when they discovered the dead birds of prey.

© Green Balkans
Logo of the EU project for the protection of black vultures

When the GPS data of the vultures no longer showed any movement, the employees of our Bulgarian partner organisation FWFF went into the field on 14 March and made a bitter discovery: they found four dead Cinereous Vultures next to two dead herding dogs. It is assumed that the two dogs were poisoned and their carcasses dumped in the countryside. Cinereous vultures are very quick to discover carrion with their excellent sense of smell. They ate from the poisoned carcasses and died from it. In addition to the four Cinereous Vultures, FWFF bird conservationists also found several dead buzzards.

The regional police authority reacted quickly and launched an investigation. We hope that this case of wildlife crime will be solved quickly and those responsible prosecuted.

Since 2018, an international reintroduction project of Cinereous Vultures, one of the rarest birds of prey in Europe, has been running in the Bulgarian Balkan Mountains. EuroNatur is also involved in the LIFE project. Three of the vultures that died came to Bulgaria from Spain in 2019 and 2020. The fourth victim, Mitchiev-Boev, is particularly tragic: He was born in the wild last year as the first Cinereous Vulture offspring in Bulgaria in over 60 years.

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