The Egyptian Vulture tends to reoccupy the sites where the reintroduction of Griffon Vulture takes place in the Kotel Mountain, Kresna Gorge and Vrachanski Balkan in Bulgaria, although it is still declining in Balkans.
This trend continues several years after the start of the reintroduction of the griffon vulture and follows the improved conditions for vultures in the target areas. But this year (2016) for the first time in Kotel one adult Egyptian Vulture is staying during the breeding season from 13/04/2016 to today (08/15/2016) incl. In June came another subadult bird, and later a an immature one. The latter also remained in the area permanently and is still present (see photos). In Vrachanski Balkan also subadult bird with territorial behavior appeared in June and is still present in the area. A weak ago appeared a second subadult bird (see photos). In the Kresna Gorge two subadult Egyptian Vultures alos appeared in mid July and are still present in the area (see photos). This is the first time, when we have simultaneously Egyptian Vultures in all of the sites, where the Griffon Vulture reintroduction is on-going, and this happens, while the species is still facing overall decline in Balkans. The species has been locally extinct from the Kotel Mountain, Kresna Gorge and Vrachanski Balkan, quite some time before the start of the activities for reintroduction of the Griffon Vulture and the start of operation of the feeding sites. According to data from France, where similarly the Egyptian Vultures reappeared in the sites for reintroduction of Griffon Vultures, it takes from 2 to 7 years after the first appearance of immature birds before forming a local couple and start breeding. This is why the teams of FWFF, BPPS and Green Balkans are optimistic that we are witnessing a process of recovery of the species in these areas. These birds represent about 33% of all immature birds returning to the Balkans in summer. Appearing and staying into the Vulture Safe Areas, created by our organizations they increase very much their chance of survival. For a Globally threatened species, this is of great importance, and that success comes in the time when the Egyptian Vulture is still on the brink of extinction in the Balkans. Activities in the Kotel Mountain and Vrachanski Balkan are part of the projects under the LIFE instrument of EU – Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT /BG/278 and Vultures back to LIFE – LIFE14 NAT /BG/649, in partnership with Green Balkans, FWFF and BPPS, VCF, EuroNatur and Junta de Extramadura; The activities in Kresna Gorge are part of a FWFF’s – Life for Kresna Gorge project – LIFE11 NAT /BG/363.