We are united by our love for nature and our will to contribute personally for its conservation!

For us working for the conservation of nature is not a job, it is a passion and a pleasure!

Team

Vanya Ratarova-Georgieva

Executive director

Vanya took the position of the BSPB’s executive director in October 2020. She has a Master’s degree in forest management, acquired in Germany. She has been working in the non-governmental sector since her university years for NGOs in Bulgaria, as well as in Germany.
Vanya has a profound experience in leadership and project management both in the BSPB, and as a part of the team of the Directorate of Vitosha Nature Park. She is the person to keep an eye on the organization in its entirety and to make sure that all the processes in it run smoothly and in harmony.

Stoycho Stoychev

Conservation director

Stoycho is in charge of our colleagues working in the nature conservation department, and he is responsible for the nature conservation activities of the BSPB. He joined the organization as a university student in the city of Plovdiv, when he started developing ecological educational programs for children. His passion for eagles and the Sakar Mountain brought him a ‘Green Oscar’, the Whitley Award, for his work on imperial eagle conservation in Southeastern Bulgaria. On the international level, Stoycho is responsible for the coordination of the European Atlas of Breeding Birds work in Bulgaria; he is the member of several nature conservation working groups too. His busy schedule does not stop him from finding time for outings in the wild where he kindles the people’s interest in his favorite subject – birds.

Teodora Markova

Financial director

Teodora is in charge of supervising the financial operations of the BSPB and she is responsible for the accountability of the organization. She has a calm, balanced air and keeps her composure even in the hardest, busiest of times.

Svetoslav Spassov

Project manager

Svetoslav is in charge of the biggest project in Bulgaria for buying and managing land for nature conservation purposes. He is one of the BSPB’s secret weapons and he has managed some of the most successful initiatives and projects. Under his management the BSPB project for the conservation of the imperial eagle and the saker falcon received the Natura 2000 Award by the European Commission, as well as the Best LIFE Project award in the EU for 2014. Svetoslav initiated the programme for common birds monitoring in Bulgaria; he works for eliminating the threat of dangerous power lines for the birds.

Nikolay Petkov, PhD

Project manager

Nikolay is the most experienced member of our team with regards to the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats. In recent years his work focuses mainly on the conservation of the globally endangered red-breasted goose and the important sites for the species along its flyway; his efforts brought him the ‘Green Oscar’ in 2019. He is an expert of international dimensions and he is responsible for the coordination of the red-breasted goose international working group at the Secretariat of AEWA. Nikolay has worked in Wetlands International as an expert, and he is a member of 5 working groups on waterfowl, as well as a member of the Species Survival Commission at the IUCN.

Stoyan Nikolov, PhD

Project manager

Stoyan coordinates international projects for the conservation of one of the most emblematic endangered bird species – the Egyptian vulture. Under his management the project The Return of The Neophron was distinguished with the prestigious Natura 2000 Award by the European Commission in the Cross-border cooperation and networking category, and as one of the best LIFE projects in the Conservation category for 2016–2017. At present, Stoyan is in charge of a big project aimed at the conservation of the Egyptian vulture along its migration flyway, with more than 20 partners.

Irina Mateeva

European policies expert

Irina is a fervent conservationist. She has been a part of the BSPB team since its foundation. Over the years she coordinated the Important Bird Areas Programme in Bulgaria, she launched comprehensive ornithological studies and she published nature conservation books. Her contribution for the creation of the Natura 2000 network and for the integration of European policies in Bulgaria is enormous, so in 2018 she was recognized as one of the European heroes in the campaign organized by the European Commission. Nature and birds are an inspiration for her; she is a dog lover with a fondness for Irish setters.

Anton Stamenov

Conservation officer

Anton is part of the team working for the conservation of the griffon and the Egyptian vultures in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Before that he took part in activities for the conservation of the red-breasted goose. His experience includes a one-year practice in Germany, where he researched methodologies for habitat modelling. Love took him from Northern Bulgaria to the southernmost parts of the country, close to the border with Greece and Turkey. His interest in birds and nature brought him to the team of the BSPB in 2012.

Vladimir Dobrev, PhD

Conservation officer

Vladimir found the BSPB – or the BSPB found him, who knows? – when he was still in school. Today he is responsible for the conservation of Egyptian vultures and the other big raptors that we work for. He has extensive experience in bird conservation on the Balkans, in Turkey, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan. In his free time he likes to travel, to walk, to jog and ski in the mountains, to go rock climbing. He is known for his joyful sense of humour.

Volen Arkumarev, PhD

Conservation officer

Since childhood Volen was interested in biology and in birds in particular. He works for the conservation of vultures and other raptors with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. He has gained his profound field experience not only in Bulgaria but also during expeditions in Turkey, Ethiopia, Namibia and Niger. He has lectured at several international seminars, trainings and conferences dedicated to raptors. He likes to spend his free time in the wild, and as any person born in the town of Haskovo, he is passionate about tennis.

Georgi Popgeorgiev, PhD

GIS and data base officer

Georgi is our most accomplished expert on GIS and information technologies. He manages SmartBirds – the largest data base for biodiversity in Bulgaria. An outstanding herpetologist, he earned his doctoral degree with his research on reptiles and amphibians in Southeastern Bulgaria. His free time is reserved for another of his passions – crossfit.

Dimitar Gradinarov

Wildlife crime officer

Dimitar is an expert ornithologist that has participated for many years in the planning and realization of BSPB’s activities for monitoring and conservation of endangered species of raptors; his work involves actions against wildlife crimes too. Dimitar has broad experience in filming and photographing the diverse activities by the BSPB both in the field and elsewhere. A drone pilot and a skilled photographer, in 2006 he won the National Geographic Bulgaria competition in the category Nature.

Dimitar Demerdzhiev, PhD

Raptor conservation expert

Dimitar is among the leading experts in raptor research and conservation, with many scientific publications in the field. His doctoral degree is based on his research on the imperial eagle in Bulgaria. He has extensive field experience and he manages the field activities of the BSPB for the conservation of the imperial eagle and the lesser spotted eagle – from identifying dangerous electricity pylons and poles to buying land and searching for nests. He dedicates some of his free time to history and philosophy. A true fan of rock music; his favorite band is Pink Floyd.

Svilen Cheshmedzhiev

Project
coordinator

Svilen is one of the many school students that grew up with the BSPB and naturally became members of its team. He is our link in the town of Svishtov. At present, Svilen coordinates the work of the BSPB for the conservation of the Dalmatian pelican. He manages two of our projects for the conservation of globally endangered species in Northern and Western Bulgaria. He has won many awards for his conservation work.

Dobromir Dobrev, PhD

Project
coordinator

Dobromir joined the BSPB in his school years. Today he is among the leading experts on raptors in Bulgaria. He is in charge of the conservation activities for the big vultures in Bulgaria and he coordinates our activities in the Rhodope Mountains. The main figure behind the national strategy for the fight against poisons in the wild. His greatest passion are field and research work, both in Bulgaria, as well as abroad.

Iordan Hristov

Monitoring officer

Iordan coordinates the common birds monitoring on the national level. A fervent bird lover, he is always ready to visit unexplored areas, so that he can contribute to bird distribution science. He does his best to go birdwatching every day, and he finds the birds of human settlements, the high mountain and the forests particularly interesting. He has trained more than 120 people to identify birds and he is dedicated to revealing the magic of birdwatching to beginners.

Mihail Iliev

Conservation officer

Mihail joined the BSPB many years ago but he became a part of our team just recently. His challenging task is the conservation of the globally endangered red-breasted goose that winters in Northeastern Bulgaria. He is also the national coordinator of the monitoring of wintering geese. He has practical experience in field research on birds in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Turkey, Kazakhstan. Proactive, always ready to help.

Nikolay Terziev

Conservation officer

Nikolay is responsible for the only four-legged member of the BSPB team – Bars the dog. The two are always together, even when they are not searching for poisoned baits in the wild. Nikolay is good with dogs but with children too – he has kindled the interest in nature and wildlife in many young fans of the BSPB. The smile never leaves his face.

Petar Yankov, PhD

Conservation officer

Petar has been a member of the BSPB team for longest, and he has really ‘climbed the hierarchy’, starting as a founding member, through volunteer, employee, conservation director, executive director and chairman of the Management Board. For two mandates he was a member of the European and the Global councils of BirdLife International.

Petar dedicated his career as a scientist and his entire experience and enthusiasm to the shaping of the BSPB as a successful organization with international recognition. He brought the BSPB to the region of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, and he introduced the concept of conservation centres in Bulgarian nature conservation. He worked hard for getting the Henry Ford Foundation Nature Conservation Award for the BSPB. He authored several hundred scientific and popular publications and books; he co-authored the Atlas of Breeding Birds, the first of its kind in Bulgaria; he participated in the preparation of the first Bulgarian action plans for species, and of management plans for protected territories too. At present he has dedicated himself to developing Poda Conservation Centre and the BSPB’s success on the territory of Burgas.

Radoslav Moldovanski

Conservation officer

Radoslav is part of the BSPB team for many years; he has participated in many conservation activities, looking after protected territories, organizing birdwatching groups, working with volunteers. An excellent field zoologist, he has supplied many valuable observations for the BSPB data base.

Snejana Dimitrova

Chief accountant

Snejana is the second person in the BSPB team responsible for the timely financial procedures for everyone in the organization. Like a real-life many-handed Shiva she juggles masterfully with financial reports and the management of the two conservation centres of the organization – Poda and Iztochni Rodopi.

Emilia Yankova

Communications officer

Emilia is our creative specialist. All the materials concerning the visual identity of the BSPB in recent years are the result of her inspiration, hard work and reliability. Emilia has plenty of those and without her the communication of the BSPB with the general public wouldn’t have been so successful.

Iordanka Goranova

Communications officer

Thanks to Iordanka you are able to learn what’s new about the BSPB in the social and traditional media every day. She is also responsible for the communications of several of our big projects focusing on the conservation of the Egyptian vulture and the imperial eagle. She tries to balance her busy working days with yoga classes and outings in the wild.

Elitsa Ivanova

Communications officer

Elitsa is the communications team’s latest addition. She successfully maneuvres between the logistics of 16 organizations dedicated to the conservation of the Egyptian vulture on three continents and the yoga classes she teaches. And in the mean time she looks after her two pets – a cat and a dog.

Vanya Georgieva

Project administrator

Vanya is always available for all that tedious administrative work, and she does her job fast and perfectly.

Manuela Murdzheva

Project administrator

Manuela is one of our team members that remain hidden behind the computer screen but she has no equal in processing documentation and administering the project activities. She likes to go to concerts of her favorite hard rock bands and to travel with her family.

Maria Kiryakova

Project administrator

Maria returned to our team after a two-year maternity leave. Administrative tasks do not scare her off, she deals with them with ease and with the perfect precision of a German graduate.

Marina Veleva

Office manager

Marina is the voice on the phone when you call us, and the person that makes sure that all the orders in our online shop are delivered in time. Besides all that, she manages the work process in our office. The sea and fishing are the passions that she shares with friends in her free time.

Dimitar Plachiiski, PhD

Nature conservation officer

Dimitar has a Master’s degree in Biodiversity, ecology and nature conservation from Plovdiv University Paisiy Hilendarski. He is a member of the BSPB since 1997. From 2001 to 2010 he was the regional coordinator of the organization for the city of Plovdiv. He co-authored 8 action plans for vertebrates of conservation concern on the national level in Bulgaria. He took part in the formation, research and protection of the network of Important Bird Areas and protected bird areas of the Natura 2000 ecological network. He took part in the development of many management plans for protected areas and territories. He assisted for the preparation of proposals for the declaration of new protected territories and for the expansion of existing protected territories. He is the co-author of 18 scientific publications on nature conservation, ornithology and herpetology, and of two popular scientific books. At present, Dimitar is responsible for threat prevention and conservation of open habitats as part of the team of the project „Conservation Measures for the Lesser Spotted Eagle and its Habitats in Bulgaria“.

Temenuzhka Nikolova

Temenuzhka (or ‘Nusha’ in short) will welcome you to our conservation centre Iztochni Rodopi. Then she’ll take you to your rooms, if you’re guest in the hotel part and she’ll offer you a tasty meal in the restaurant, so that you are content during your visit in the valley of Arda River in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, in the realm of vultures.

Bars

The anti-poison dog

Bars is our four-legged colleague. A true friend and a member of the family of his handler Nikolay Terziev for more than four years. Bars and Nikolay are a force – they are always ready to respond and organize a search for poisoned baits or animals in the wild. Bars is a crazy, funny, tireless worker, and very playful too – a fact that Nikolay doesn’t always smile about. He’s everyone’s favorite.

Vladimir Mladenov

Conservation officer

Vladimir also became a volunteer at the BSPB in his school years. Since a little boy he was passionate about observing and identifying birds and reptiles. He specializes in the conservation of waterfowl and in wetland preservation. He grew up in the town of Svishtov and he made ‘his first steps’ with the BSPB as a volunteer in conservation activities along the Danube River. Since 2010 his work focuses on the study and preservation of the wetlands around the city of Burgas.

Management Board

Ivaylo Ivanov

Chairman of the MB of the BSPB

Chairman of the MB of the BSPB
Ivaylo has been a member of the BSPB for many years, and he used to work for the organization too: for many years he was the regional coordinatior of the BSPB in the city of Varna. He is Chairman of the Management Board since 2019.

Ilian iliev

Member of the MB

Ilian has a degree in biology but he manages a profitable business with professional kitchen equipment. His busy days and his business responsibilities do not deter him from his hobby – birds and nature. Ilian is a vigorous supporter of causes of non-governmental organizations dedicated to the conservation of nature and birds in particular.

Teodora Petrova

Member of the MB

Teodora is a friend, member and a former employee of the BSPB. Until 2015 she was part of our team: at first she was in charge of the communications in our first LIFE+ project, Conservation of imperial eagle and saker falcon in key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria, and then she became the Communications and PR Director of the organization. Teodora is a member of the Management Board of the BSPB since 2019.

Borislav Tonchev

Member of the MB

Borislav has been a member and a friend of the BSPB for many years. He participated in many activities organized by us, including in one of the organization’s most successful projects: For the Balkan and for the People. Borislav dedicated a great portion of his life to bird conservation and to nature. He has been Chairman of the MB so he knows the organization and its management in close detail.

Emil Todorov

Member of the MB

For many years Emil was the regional coordinator of the BSPB in the town of Svishtov. First winner of the ‘Green Oscar’ in the BSPB for his work in the lower course of the Danube River for the conservation of migrating and breeding birds there. At present, Emil works for the Romanian partner of BirdLife International, SOR. He has been a member of the MB of the BSPB for several mandates, and he has been Chairman of the MB too.

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