The young birds arrived on July 24th , as Ostrava was personally provided by the team of Ostrava zoo from the Czech Republic, where it was hatched and raised until now. The vulture Boyan arrived at Sofia airport with flight from Riga – Latvia. The two birds are donation by the zoos, who also on their behalf covered the expenditures for the transportation of the birds to Bulgaria.
On the next day the birds were tagged, as they were equipped with satellite transmitters, color rings and some of their feathers were bleached. This will help their tracing at any time, as well as their identification in the direct monitoring from distance. The birds were symbolically donated by the zoos to the Ministry of environment and water, which was represented by Mr. Valeri Georgiev, head of “Biodiversity unit” at the National Nature Protection Service Directorate. After that, on his side he handed the birds over to the “Bright future for the Black vulture” project, represented by Elena Stoeva, project coordinator.
After the ceremony the birds were accommodated in an artifical nest – the so called hack in Kotel Mountain. There they will be fed, whithout meeting human presence until they grow enough and flegde. The birds are the first of their species to live freely into the wild after the species went extinct from the country in the 30ies of the previous century. There are many risks to them and their adaptation to the wild is a great challenge. After all we hope that they will quickly adapt and eventually somday they will nest and breed.
Kotel Mountain has been “under reconstruction” by FWFF team since 1999 in order to perform as very favorable site to accommodate vultures colonies. Ten years have passed since the first releases of griffon vultures, nowadays they are successfully nesting. Many other projects were settled in Kotel Mountain targeting Nature-friendly Livestock breeding and Transhumance, Suslic reintroduction, Fallow deer reintroduction actions, etc. Recently Kotel Mountain justified the high conservation status and it keeps about 50 Griffon vultures, some are nesting, three Egyptian vultures and one Black vulture.
The reintroduction methodology has been tested for years in other European countries as France and Spain, where it helped the recovery of the population of the species. Many countries are making every endevour for the reintroduction of the vulture populations, because of the unique ecological service they perform. They are real “sanitizers of the wild”, who thoroughly eliminate the corpses of domestic and wild animals and prevent the spread of contaminations. They also entirely replace the service of the incinerators, saving millions of money to the iconomy and the stock-breeders and also contribute to saving carbon emissions, emitted in the transportation of birds across the country to the incinerators. Follow the fate of the two birds Ostrava and Boyan together with us!