Good progress in the work for the Saker Falcon conservation in Bulgaria

The team of the Project “Conservation of Falco cherrug in NE-Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia” (LIFE09 NAT/HU/000348) had a good year for saving this globally endangered species in Bulgaria. The baseline survey showed the existence of one pair in the Project territory, although its breeding is still unclear. Minimum 4 different Saker Falcons spent most of the winter in North-Eastern Bulgaria. For the first time the fact that through Bulgaria migrate not only Hungarian, but also Ukrainian and Slovak Sakers, was proven. It happened due to the satellite transmitters, put by the Hungarian and Slovak partners of the Project.

Work started with evaluation of the current agriculture policies and practices concerning the Saker living conditions in North Eastern Bulgaria. The aim of the study is development of a guide for the farmers to enhance them to apply Saker-friendly land uses, including reducing to a minimum the risks falcons to be empoisoned.

Significant is the Project progress in the preparation of insulation of the dangerous 20 kV pylons. Effective cooperation started between BSPB and the electricity distribution company operating in North-Eastern Bulgaria. Over 600 pylons, planned for insulation, were marked and photographed; ordering of the insulation materials is underway.

The work is going in close cooperation with the other BSPB Project under the Life+ Programme – ‘Save the Raptors’ (LIFE07 NAT/BG/000068). Both projects joined their efforts in supporting the inclusion of the Saker in Annex I of the Bonn Convention, initiated by Hungary. The National Action Plan for the Saker, developed by BSPB, BPPS and IBER was finalised and submitted to the Bulgarian Government. Successful actions were undertaken together with the police and prosecution offices against bird crime.

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