The LIFE+ project "Conservation of Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon in key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria" or “Save the Raptors” (LIFE 07 NAT/BG/000068) is Bulgaria's first EU LIFE+ project.
The LIFE+ program is an environment protection financial tool of the EU. Its objective is to co-finance local biodiversity conservation and Natura 2000 site conservation projects. The program started in 1992 and has provided co-financing for 3,708 projects in the European Community, contributing 2.8 billion Euro for nature conservation. For more see here
The LIFE+ "Save the Raptors” project is being implemented by the BSPB for a period of five years (2009 – 2013).
The objectives of the project are to increase the Imperial eagle population in Bulgaria by 20% and to prevent the extinction of the Saker falcon from the country. To meet these objectives, the project is realising the following specific objectives:
• Reduce the impact of direct persecution, killing and plundering of nests of the Imperial Eagle and the Saker Falcon
• Reduce the impact of indirect threats on the Imperial Eagle and the Saker Falcon
• Prevent further loss of Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon nest sites and create new sites
• Maintain and provide new nesting and hunting areas for both species in Natura 2000 sites
• Ensure best practice in Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon conservation is mainstreamed into Natura 2000 site management
• Create positive attitudes to the Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon in key audiences (people, interested in and responsible for conservation of the species).
The project has been implemented in 10 Special Protected Areas of the Natura 2000 network in Bulgaria – “Sakar”, “Zapadna Strandzha”, “Sinite kamani – Grebenets”, “Kamenski bair”, “Central Balkan”, “Sredna gora”, “Vrachanski Balkan”, “Most Arda”, “Besaparski ridove”, and “Ponor”.
Map of project sites
The project partners are the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds /BirdLife UK, MME/BirdLife Hungary, the Fund for Wild Flora & Fauna and the Central Balkan National Park Directorate.