Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds has already started buying lands which will be managed sustainably in favour of three globally endangered species: the Eastern Imperial Eagle, the Saker Falcon and the European souslik as part of its campaign Land for wings. The newly acquired 29 dka are situated in South Sakar mountain, near Svilengrad and Topolovgrad in areas, already known as a nesting territories of the iconic Eastern Imperial eagle.
Although buying land for environmental purposes is one of the BPSB causes for many years, this is the first such campaign, carried out exclusively with individual donations. The goal of the campaign is to gather enough money to buy 100 dka of land in Sakar in support of the conservation of the three species, whose existence in the Bulgarian nature is threatened mainly by the habitats’ loss.
The newly bought land will not have a status of protected areas, which is from the competence of the state institutions. As the oldest environmental organization in Bulgaria BSPB takes the responsibility of maintaining them in a good environmental state, focusing on the three species, thus helping the well-being of all the biodiversity in the region. The main goal of the land management is restoration and conservation of the target species and habitats as well as the other typical for the region species and habitats in a bad environmental state.
BSPB maintains the land in a good condition in several ways:
- by restoring of the plowed pastures by natural renewal of the grass vegetation or by planting the native grass species;
- by restoring the pastures overgrown with bushes. Partial removal of the unwanted vegetation in order to maintain the mosaic habitat and a rich biodiversity, while in the same time complying with the criteria of the rural development program and the direct payments for farmers;
- by managing the sustainably restored permanently grassy areas via the grazing of domestic animals or mowing: the full removal of the bushes and trees is detrimental to the wild animals who inhabit them as well a to the quality and sustainability of the pasture as a feeding resource for the farm animals.
Purchasing land, restoring, and protecting the biodiversity in it is one of the main tools of the non-government environmental organizations across the globe. In Europe one of the oldest traditions is set by the RSPB (UK) which has acquired almost 130 000 ha of land from its foundation in 1889. Today this land is a network of invaluable reserves, sheltering the rarest birds and other animals in the Island, visited by millions of people seeking a connection with the preserved nature.
Land for wings campaign has reached almost one third of its goal of 100 000 leva. The donations could be made with a debit/credit card, via bank transaction or SMS, as described on the BSPB website.
Photo: © Rashid Rashid