Meeting the еndangered souslik in the Natura 2000 Day

May 21, 2024
Photo: Ivaylo Dimitrov

On 21st of May we celebrate the Natura 2000 Day, which protects more than 30% of Bulgarian territory and is a foundation for the protection of many plant and animal species. In 1979 the Birds Directive has been adopted and with the adoption of the Habitats Directive in 1992 the base of the Network is complete.
Over the years Natura 2000 has proved its significance for the protection of the Bulgarian nature also because of the efforts of many ecologists, citizens and NGOs.

One of the species, of which protection the Network is crucial, is the European souslik. We used the Natura 2000 Day as an occasion to visit together with some journalists one of its colonies near Sofia and to meet this small mammal, which population decreases in Europe, but its significance for the conservation of lots of raptors is major importance.

The Saker falcon is one of this species, of which only 3 pairs nest in the Bulgarian wild nature, hatched and released by the Green Balkans’ program. The Life for Falcons project, dedicated to its conservation, pays a special attention to the status of the souslik in the country, because it constitutes the base of the food supply for the Saker falcon and other species.

In the vicinity of Kremikovsti village, led by our colleagues – Yordan Koshev from IBER and Dimitar Gradinarov from BSPB, we managed to observe part of the local colony, which enjoyed the warm weather after several rainy days.


Photos: BSPB

We thank the journalists who answered our invitation to cover this important subject