Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe


The LIFE Vultures project focuses on the recovery and further expansion of the black and griffon vulture populations in this part of the Balkan region. The overall aim of the LIFE RE-Vulture Project is to reduce acute threats to enable the maintenance and recovery of Black and Griffon vultures in the Bulgarian/Greek cross border area of eastern Rhodope Mountains.

Project objectives:

  • To increase knowledge of mortality factors and threats as well as of dispersal and wanderings of the target species
  • To reduce disturbance, poisoning, direct persecution and lead poisoning of Black and Griffon vultures
  • To increase availability of food for Black and Griffon vultures
  • To reduce the mortality risk to Black and Griffon vultures from electricity infrastructure
  • To gain support from key stakeholder including by promoting local business related to vultures and wildlife
  • To increase awareness of vulture conservation
  • To facilitate networking with other conservation organizations
Griffon vulture, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

Griffon vulture
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

To achieve this, a large number of actions are being carried out:

  • Study of the pattern of presence of Black vulture in the Rhodopes and search for possible breeding pairs outside the known colony.
  • Studies about dispersal and movements of vultures, and search for possible
  • Breeding pairs outside the known colony
  • Study the health status of large vultures with focus on lead poisoning and veterinary drugs
  • Identification and planning of business opportunities related to vultures
  • Creating a trained dog unit to locate poisoning cases
  • Supporting local businesses linked to vulture watching (including building of professional hides)
  • Supporting vultures related local products
  • Reducing collision and electrocution by power
  • Promoting lead free ammunitions among hunters
  • Developing and implementing children and youth awareness program for the Vulture information centre