The pandemic has offered an opportunity for the resurgence of some of the world’s most vulnerable species and among these is Bulgaria’s Griffon vultures. The birds were presumed extinct in the country in the 1970s, but a team of researchers confirms that after conservation and reintroduction efforts, the country now has a stable breeding population of 80 vultures.
For years the team has been importing captive and rescued vultures from other countries to Bulgaria to stabilize the local population. The first fledging was born in 2016 and since then, 30 chicks have been released into the wild. Although many of the birds are still relying on provided carcasses for feeding, the researchers believe their high numbers mean they will be able to survive independently in the near future.
Conservationists are optimistic that the successful reintroduction of Griffon vultures means the potential reintroduction of other vultures such as the cinereous and bearded vultures which are also presumed extinct in Bulgaria.