Bulgarian Important Bird Areas protected
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.