Main achievements

1988

Establishment

Environmental activists and expert ornithologists from the Bulgarian Academy of Science come together to establish an organization for the protection of birds in Bulgaria.
The first campaign of the BSPB against mass poisoning with rodenticides endangering raptors’ populations took place.

First campaign

The first campaign of the BSPB against mass poisoning with rodenticides endangering raptors’ populations took place.

 

Protected areas in the national parks

The BSPB contributed for the announcement of more than 30 protected areas, as well as for preserving the boundaries of the Bulgarian national parks – Rila, Pirin and Centralen Balkan.

Conservation of the Dalmatian Pelicans in Srebarna Lake

In the period 1988 – 1996 we took successful measures for the conservation of the colony of Dalmatian Pelicans in the Srebarna Reserve when it most needed protection.

The return of the Griffon Vultures

We restored the only colony of the species in Bulgaria, in the Eastern Rhodope Mountain.

The white mascot

The BSPB saved over 150 nests of White Storks from electrocution; we encouraged electric distribution companies across the country to protect nests on electric poles by moving them to specially installed platforms.

Monitoring of biodiversity

In 1988 we created the first national scheme for monitoring of biodiversity in Bulgaria involving more than 200 volunteers; we have been managing it ever since. The volunteers participate in the annual Midwinter Waterfowl Census, the Common Birds Monitoring, the Imperial Eagle Monitoring, the White Stork Count; the data from these activities is used to develop and implement policies for the sustainable management of natural resources.

1989

First artificial islands

The first artificial islands for endangered species were constructed at the Atanasovsko Lake Reserve during a conservation camp – a real experience for almost 3 generations of environmentalists.

Important Bird Areas

The BSPB defined the first 22 Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria – the backbone of biodiversity preservation in the country and a basis for the establishment of the NATURA 2000 network.

Conservation of terns and avocets

We saved the populations of terns and avocets of the Atanassovsko Lake Reserve from extinction and helped increase their numbers.

The BSPB acts for the Spoonbill and the Glossy Ibis

By announcing Poda a protected area in 1989 we contributed enormously to the preservation of the only existing colony of Spoonbills and Glossy Ibises along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

"Poda"protected area

Regulation 37/1989 of the Council of Ministers that gives the BSPB the right to manage “Poda” protected area near Burgas was accepted. This is the first case in Bulgaria

1990

Nest guarding for the Imperial Eagle

Since 1990 we carry out a successful scheme for guarding against disturbance and destruction of nests of the globally endangered Imperial Eagle; as a result the breeding pairs are able to raise more young.

1991

National database with ornithological information

The BSPB started building a National database with ornithological information, which was used as a scholarly basis for successful activities in the protection of birds and biodiversity in Bulgaria. The data is used for decision-making, the preparation of statements and legislative documentation from national agencies and business organizations.

1992

Member of BirdLife International

Bulgaria is the second country from the former communist bloc to join the BirdLife International Partnership. This made the BSPB a part of the oldest and largest world nature movement – with more than 2 million members and 10 million supporters.

Get to know our birds

The first issue of a popular series on birds and their protection called “Get to know our birds” was published.

 

1993

The BSPB saves the colony of Dalmatian Pelicans at Srebarna Reserve from extinction

In cases of low water levels at Srabarna reserve, the Dalmatian Pelicans become an easy prey to terrestrial predators. Under a project proposed by the BSPB, MOEW (Ministry of Environment and Water) constructed a fence that helped preserve the Dalmatian Pelican’s colony from extinction at the Srebarna reserve. Similar facilities were built also along the Black Seaside and restored the only Glossy Ibis’ s colony in Bulgaria.

1994

The BSPB founds the first nature conservation centres in Bulgaria – Poda and Iztochni Rodopi

The BSPB built the first nature conservation centres in Bulgaria – Poda and Iztochni Rodopi with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development; the centres quickly became a focus point for many educational and nature conservation initiatives on the local level, aimed at the encouragement of active, practical conservation.

First National White Stork Count

The first nature conservation centres

In the period 1994 – 1997 the BSPB founded the first nature conservation centres in Bulgaria – Poda near the city of Burgas, and Iztochni Rodopi in the town of Madzharovo. The centres receive more than 30 000 visitors per year.

1995

The BSPB published the book Nestboxes and Birdfeeders

The book Nestboxes and Birdfeeders marks the beginning of the series of popular publications dedicated to Bulgarian birds and their conservation. The series contributes to popularizing birdwatching in Bulgaria and draws international attention to the country as a destination for nature-friendly tourism in Europe.

Pioneering telemetry

The BSPB introduced the use of telemetry for zoological studies in Bulgaria. The first telemetry study in Bulgaria was of the Corncrake as part of a BSPB project funded by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK). The project revealed new facts about the species, including it local migrations during the breeding season in search of suitable conditions for a second brood.

1996

Mapping of breeding birds in Bulgaria

The BSPB initiated a large-scale mapping operation for the breeding species of birds in Bulgaria which led to the publication of the first national Atlas of Breeding Birds in Bulgaria. The collected data serves as an essential base for the advancement of ornithology in the country and plays a key role in the process of determining important bird areas in Bulgaria, as well as for the development of policies for their management and conservation.

First national action plans

The first national action plans for the conservation of globally threatened species of birds in Bulgaria are published.

1997

Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria

The BSPB launched the most significant national series of conservation publications with the book Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria. By 2013 the series consists of 22 publications.

1998

Commitment to the national Biodiversity Act

The Minister of Environment and Water commissioned the BSPB with the creation of the legislative framework for the Biodiversity Act – one of the most important national documents for nature conservation and for the integration of the European conservation legislation.

1999

Defending the national parks

The BSPB initiated the first public advocacy campaign for the Bulgarian national parks. More than 20 000 post cards were sent to members of the Parliament and a special exhibition was opened in the Parliament. The boundaries of the national parks were not changed.
Following a proposal by the BSPB the Bulgarian government suggested the inclusion of two species in the Directive on the conservation of wild birds of the European Union: the Semicollared Flycatcher (an indicator species for the conservation of old woods) and the Masked Shrike. This suggestion led to the announcement of new NATURA 2000 areas in all countries where these species are found.

2000

Nature in My Environment Essay Contest

In cooperation with the embassy of Great Britain the BSPB organized a national youth essay contest Nature in My Environment; thousands of young people received an opportunity to express their concern about the fate of Bulgarian nature.

First agroecological projects

The BSPB realized the first agroecological project in Bulgaria and initiated habitat conservation for endangered species such as the Red-breasted Goose in the region of Durankulak Lake in cooperation with farmers and land owners.

2001

Building of the NATURA 2000 network

The BSPB works for increasing the awareness of Bulgarian institutions and the general public of the building of the NATURA 2000 network in Bulgaria. Three model proposals are developed for Special Protected Areas (Kamchia Complex, Mandra – Poda Complex, Vardim Island) and the first information campaign NATURA 2000 – For People and Birds is organized.

2002

Conservation of wetlands of international importance

The active work of the BSPB toward the conservation of wetlands of international importance led to a 200% increase in the number of Ramsar sites in Bulgaria. Following a proposal by the BSPB, water bodies near Shabla, Ibisha Island, Poda Protected Area, Pomoriiski Wetlands, Vaya Lake and Belenski Islands Complex were included in the list of wetlands of international importance. Thus 10 Bulgarian wetlands with a total area of 20 306 ha fell under protection of the Ramsar Convention.

2003

Proposal for announcement of Belasitsa Nature Park

The BSPB in cooperation with the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation proposed Belasitsa Mountain to be announced a nature park. Over the years the BSPB has contributed for the announcement of more than 30 new protected areas, thus ensuring the conservation of some of the most valuable sites for biodiversity in Bulgaria. Among them are: the expansion of Sinite Kamani Nature Park; Meandrite na Byala reka, Patronka, Oreshari, Momina Skala, Golemiya Sipey, Ribino, Gyumyurdzhinski Snezhnik protected areas etc.

2004

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme

The BSPB is the first organization to introduce the pan-European common bird monitoring scheme in Bulgaria; hundreds of volunteers participate in the scheme. The data gathered is analyzed and used as an indicator for agricultural land management in Bulgaria, as well as for the state of the environment. Thanks to the BSPB Bulgaria is the only country in South-East Europe to provide coherent data for the scheme.

2005

International actions

Our international actions begun with projects in cooperation with other Eastern European countries as leading partners; their objective was to support their scientific and conservation efforts.

Successful species conservation

The populations of the Imperial Eagle and the Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria showed the highest nesting success over the last ten years thanks to the active efforts of the BSPB aimed at that objective, e. g. nest guarding and supplementary feeding.

2006

Announcement of protected areas for birds

The BSPB developed and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Waters the complete set of documents needed for the announcement of protected areas for birds according to the requirements of the pre-accession treaty with the European Union; this set served as a basis for the building of the NATURA 2000 network in Bulgaria.

2007

For the Nature

The BSPB was among the initiators of and is an active participant in the largest nature conservation coalition in Bulgarian history – For the Nature; we continue in our efforts to stop the destruction of the most valuable nature sites in Bulgaria.

2008

The Kaliakra case

After exhausting all possibilities for protection of Kaliakra as a part of the European natural heritage, the BSPB lodged a complaint to the European Commission. The Kaliakra Case became symbolic of the challenges for the NATURA 2000 network sites in the country.

Work for endangered species

The national plan for the conservation of the Egyptian Vulture was accepted – the result of 20 years of efforts by the BSPB for the conservation of this critically endangered species.

The BSPB installed a record number of artificial nestboxes – 103 – in an attempt to improve the nesting conditions for another globally endangered species – the Saker Falcon, together with 150 nestboxes for the breeding population of Red-footed Falcon.

The practical uses of the agroecological measures

The BSPB started the first efforts aimed directly at the conservation of pastures and meadows of high nature value. For the first time a NGO was involved in the testing of agroecological measures and made a practical example of nature conservation through sustainable use of nature resources.

2009

Start of our work under the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission

The BSPB won the first and biggest project for the conservation of the Imperial Eagle and the Saker Falcon in Bulgaria. It is also the first Bulgarian project to be funded by the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission. The largest programme for satellite tracking of Imperial Eagles was realized within the project; it included 22 juvenile birds and revealed major factors for the high death rate of the species.

2010

Efforts against wildlife crime

Active efforts of the BSPB were initiated towards cooperation with the institutions in charge of the fight against wildlife crime.

 

First supplementary feedings of Imperial Eagles

More wetlands in the Ramsar Convention

The BSPB doubled the number of the wetlands included in the list of the Ramsar Convention.

2011

Tracking the Red-breasted Geese

The first telemetric tracking of Red-breasted Geese in the world was carried out with success.

2012

Agroecology for endangered species

Successful proposal for the inclusion of three new agroecological measures in the National agroecological programme; the measures are aimed at the conservation of the Imperial Eagle, the Egyptian Vulture and the wintering populations of geese.

The largest-scale field capture and tagging of Red-breasted Geese for the purposes of science and conservation

2013

First occupants of artificial nests

The BSPB celebrated the first successful occupation of an artificial nest for Imperial Eagles, proof of the successful strategy for supporting the breeding pairs of raptors; several nestboxes for Red-footed Falcons were also occupied.