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  • Author: Volen Arkumarev x
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Svetoslav Spasov, Volen Arkumarev, Dobromir Dobrev and Vladimir Dobrev

Abstract

Since 1990, nature conservation NGOs are the main players in the running of nation-wide research and monitoring schemes for raptors in Bulgaria. Among them, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) and Green Balkans are most active, covering the most threatened diurnal raptors in the country. The key species covered by comprehensive monitoring schemes are the Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus, Black Vulture Aegypius monachus, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug and Red-footed Falcon F. vespertinus. Information on their distribution, numbers, breeding success, productivity, diet, movements etc. is gathered on annual basis. The Buzzard Buteo buteo and Kestrel F. tinnunculus are also regularly monitored at the national level by the Common Bird Monitoring scheme. Distribution of all raptor species has been studied for the purpose of the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Bulgaria. The contemporary satellite telemetry methods revealed important aspects of movements and threats to eagles and vultures from Bulgaria within the country and abroad. Main threats for the raptors in Bulgaria are related to habitat loss, unnatural mortality and disturbance. The main gaps in raptor monitoring in Bulgaria are related to the lack of coverage of most of the diurnal species and owls. There is a strong national and international cooperation in conjunction with the work concerning Imperial Eagle, Egyptian and Griffon Vultures. However, further enhancement of cooperation on other raptor species and issues such as lobbying for implementation of raptor-friendly agricultural practices and enhancement of various economic sectors are needed