The Bulgarian government has confirmed Special Protection Area extensions for four key Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria. The extensions of Lomovete, Central Balkan, Pirin and Western Rhodopes will provide protection for key breeding populations of endangered species such as the Egyptian Vulture and Saker falcon, along with a host of forest species. This follows a long campaign by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB – the BirdLife Partner in Bulgaria) and BirdLife to get the sites fully designated, which resulted in a complaint to the European Commission.
Irina Mateeva, BSPB’s EU Policy Officer said ‘We’re delighted that these special sites will now be fully protected under EU and Bulgarian law. However, a decision to extend a further key site, Rila Mountain, has yet to be made, and we are very concerned that the government continues to refuse to fully designate the Kaliakra peninsula, wintering site for the globally threatened red-breasted goose and an important stopping-off point for thousands of birds on the Via Pontica migration route.’
BSPB and BirdLife will continue the campaign to ensure the designation and protection of the Kaliakra peninsula, and the rigorous protection of all Bulgaria’s important areas for birds.
Lake Skadar forms the international border between Albania and Montenegro, but is also a biodiversity-rich Balkan wetland harbouring the Dalmatian Pelican. CEPF is supporting 10 organisations to sustainably manage the lake for its pelicans, for conservation, and for the local people that live on its shores.
New scientific evidence confirms that legal protection of bird species does work. A recent study focusing in Eastern Europe shows that the rate of decline of protected species was approximately halved after the onset of protection.
One of the world’s smallest lizards, a ‘spiky’ yellow woodlouse, a blue iguana, a flightless moth, a seabird thought to be extinct for three centuries and a predatory shrimp confined to just two rockpools, are just some of the amazing 1547 species