During the past week, despite the bad weather conditions, BSPB and the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center – Green Balkans team prepared the young Egyptian vultures from Class 2024 of the “Vulture School” for release.

The six young vultures, which are preparing to fly freely in the Eastern Rhodopes’ sky, were examined and dewormed by the Green Balkans veterinarians. The birds have been tagged with GPS transmitters that will allow us to track their movements and behaviour in real time after the release and for years to come. This was the last stage of the adaptation of our “Graduates” who will fly freely very soon.

Earlier in the day, together with students from the “Ivan Vazov” Еlementary school in the village of Potochnica, we celebrated International Migratory Birds Day with a presentation about the Egyptian vulture and the challenges it faces on its way to Africa. The students learned about the difficulties in the life of this globally endangered species and the activities involved in its conservation. They also learned more about the fate of Louis and Paulina, the two Egyptian vultures from the “Class 2023” of the “Vulture School.“

The event was held within the framework of the “From the Iron Curtain to the Green Belt” project, funded by the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme (ELSP) that is managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative – a collaboration between the Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge of The Old Schools and leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations. The University and the ELSP are supported by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing.

The Egyptian vulture Restocking program in Bulgaria started in 2016, and so far, 4 of the Egyptian vultures released into the wild have formed pairs in the Eastern Rhodopes. The program is implemented by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Green Balkans and the European Program for Protected Species of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), which is coordinated by Antonin Weidl from the Prague Zoo.