© Dimitar Gradinarov/BSPB
The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and the hunting and fishing assosiation “Sokol” from the town of Harmanli have started joint work on the restoration of the Fallow deer population in the Sakar region. The first 26 animals were released in the first week of November. At least 30 more deer will be reintroduced, whose movements will be tracked with GPS transmitters and camera traps. The deer are provided by BSPB while the hunters from Harmanli will take care of them in the first months after their release.
The restoration of the deer populations is part of the overall efforts of BSPB in partnership with the hunting organizations and the South-Eastern Forest Enterprises and the Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation to restore the natural ecosystems in the “Green Belt” region from the Eastern Rhodopes to Sakar and Strandzha.
By grazing the vegetation, the deer play a key role in the maintenance of open habitats, which is of great importance for the conservation of the biodiversity. Deer are also an important part of the food chain. They are food for predators, and the remains of their bodies are eaten by vultures, eagles and ravens. The area in which the deer have been displaced is frequently visited by Cinereous vultures released as part of the reintroduction programs in the Eastern Rhodopes and Stara Planina mountains.
Deer restoration activities in Sakar are being carried out with the financial support of the European Wildlife Comeback Fund (Rewilding Europe) and the Endangered Landscapes Programme.