by European Wilderness Society: http://wilderness-society.org/working-save-raptors/,
The LIFE programme is the EU’s
funding instrument for the environment.
The general objective of LIFE is
to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU
environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or
demonstration projects with European added value.
The ‘Save the Raptors‘
project, which is co-funded by the LIFE programme, aims to conserve
Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon in key Natura 2000 Sites in Bulgaria.
There are various actions taken within the framework of the project for
instance eliminating one of the most serious conservation problems
facing the globally threatened imperial eagle: electrocution.
caused 67% of juvenile mortalities within the breeding territories of
30% of the Bulgarian eagle population, concentrated in Sakar ‘Special
protection area’ (SPA), between 2009 and 2013.
The project is of the
highest importance, not only because Bulgaria harbours some 10% of the
EU population, but also because this viable population is the only one
within the EU that carry ‘Anatolian’ genes, which make them unique.
There are various direct project actions, which includes the following:
1. Purchase pastures with souslik colonies and land plots, in which
imperial eagle nests are found (situated) to ensure their adequate
2. Protect nests of imperial eagle and saker falcon to allow for
tranquility (to prevent disturbance) during the breeding season and
monitor the population
3. Manufacture (build) artificial nests for imperial eagle and saker falcon and place them in appropriate breeding sites
4. Plant trees, characteristic for the region in the sites where
riverine forests have been eradicated and there are no trees (poplar
trees), suitable for nesting of the imperial eagle
5. Provide supplementary feeding during the breeding period and in winter to increase breeding success
6. Insulate the most dangerous electricity poles within 5 km radius of the imperial eagles’ nests
The project managed to secure 595
hazardous electricity poles along 59 km, and as a result, no
electrocuted eagles have been recorded recently, which contributed to an observed 25% increase in the number of breeding pairs.
project has recently been shortlisted for the award of the Best LIFE
project in 2014. More information about the shortlisted projects is here.