© Svetoslav Spasov

The speed with which the Egyptian vulture is disappearing and the work to eliminate the main threats throughout its migration path are in an unequal battle. For the last 40 years, the population of the species in Bulgaria has decreased by 83%! Today there are only 26 pairs left in our country.

For more than 20 years, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) has been making incredible efforts to stop this disastrous trend. The reasons for the rapid decline of the emblematic species are the use of poisons and poison baits, collisions with power lines, poaching, and disturbing along its entire migration route from Bulgaria to Africa.

In order to race the time and save the Egyptian vulture, we must not only deal with these threats but also have a “vision for the future” and take an innovative approach. The implementation of a program to release captive-bred young Egyptian vultures has partially offset the high mortality at sea during the first migration of young birds (only one out of 10 survives!) And may boost the Balkan species population. The results of the last few years prove it. 23 captive-bred birds have been released, 6 of which have returned successfully to Bulgaria.

© Волен Аркумарев

© Volen Arkumarev

In order for the program for the release of Egyptian vultures to continue in the next 2 years, we need BGN 20,000, which will be used for:

  • Transport costs from zoos in Europe to Bulgaria;
  • Food and daily care for the young birds while adapting to the aviary;
  • Medical care;
  • Tracking birds with transmitters.

We need your support to race the time and save the Egyptian vulture.

How can you help?


You can support the program by donating online on the BSPB website, through Platformata.bg, or to the following bank account:

IBAN BG55 RZBB 9155 1060 1073 29
Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria

As a token of gratitude, you will receive a gift from us as a symbol and a souvenir of your support. In case of donation over:

BGN 50 – bird badge;

BGN 200 – a bird badge and a puzzle with an Egyptian vulture;

BGN 700 – an overnight stay for two in the Nature Conservation Center of BSPB “Eastern Rhodopes”, a walk in the “Kingdom of vultures” with an experienced guide;

BGN 1,000 – a night for two at the Nature Conservation Center of BSPB “Eastern Rhodopes” and the unique opportunity to name a young Egyptian vulture, part of the program, which will be tagged with  a GSM-GPS transmitter and monitor its life.

Send us your name, payment for the donation, and phone and e-mail to to contact you!


Tell your relatives and friends and/or share on social media about the campaign and about one of the endangered birds of prey on the planet – the Egyptian Vulture.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to save the iconic species!


BSPB in partnership with the Green Balkans, EAZA, other organizations, and zoos in Europe has launched a mission to strengthen the population by releasing Egyptian vultures, creating the so-called Restocking strategy. The aim is to donate young birds that have been hatched and raised in zoos and rescue centers in Europe to the nature of Bulgaria. Young vultures are released when they are one year old. In the spring, they are housed in a specially built aviary, or so-called ‘vulture school’, in which they adapt for a little over two months before being released.

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The restoking program – a door to freedom

A number of bird species have been saved from extinction, and already extinct species have been successfully reintroduced through similar programs. One of the most iconic examples in the world is the rescue of condors in America and the restoration of the bearded vulture in the Alps.

Returning to the wild is a long and difficult process. Young vultures hatch and are reared in zoos and centers such as the Green Balkans Wildlife Rescue Center, and when they reach their first year, they are transported to a special place in the Eastern Rhodopes, where they spend two months training to survive in the wild.

Волиерата, © Волен Аркумарев

Волиерата, © Волен Аркумарев

This place is a large aviary where inexperienced birds live. It is spacious enough for them to fly and improve their flying skills. There are also niches to hide. The aviary is placed next to a feeding station, where the young birds observe the wild vultures and their behavior. In addition, they are undergoing a training course to identify the main types of food that will be found in the wilds of the Eastern Rhodopes.

Египетски лешояд, © Волен Аркумарев

© Volen Arkumarev

About the Egyptian vulture

The Egyptian vulture is the smallest and only distant migrant among the four species of vulture inhabiting Europe. Every year it travels nearly 10,000 km to its winter grounds in Africa and back to its breeding territories in Bulgaria.

In the past, the vulture nested in the pyramids of Giza and was a sacred bird to the Egyptians, who used a hieroglyph with his face in their writing. It is also famous for its intelligence – one of the few birds in the world that use tools. In Africa, it has been repeatedly observed using stones to break up abandoned ostrich eggs.

© Bogdan Boev

Unfortunately, the Egyptian vulture is currently one of the endangered birds of prey on the planet. In Bulgaria, its population numbers only 26 pairs, which breed mainly in the Eastern Rhodopes, and a small part – in Northern Bulgaria.

In 2017, BSPB led the largest international LIFE project dedicated to species conservation. The project brings together more than 20 institutions and organizations from 14 countries in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa to mitigate the main threats to the species along its migration path.