Photo: © Dimitar Demerdzhiev/BSPB

On February 28, the team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) combating poisons in the wild registered another incident involving dead animals and rare bird species in the Western Rhodopes. Dead animals found include an Imperial eagle, a young White-tailed eagle, three Buzzards, and nine jackals. The most likely cause of death is the illegal use of poison against wolves and jackals.

The deceased Imperial eagle is the male bird from the nesting pair in the area, where frequent replacements of birds have been observed in recent years—a clear signal of high mortality. The female was observed near the incident site and appears to be well at the moment. A few days ago, the BSPB team with a trained dog to combat poisons in the wild, started regular patrols in key habitats of Imperial eagles in Sakar and the Western Rhodopes.

© Dimitar Demerdzhiev/BSPB

The trained dog Bars and his handler Nikolay Terziev managed to find the probably poisoned bait. Investigations at the Green Balkans Rescue Center in Stara Zagora are pending to determine the cause of death of the found animals.

Illegal placement of poisoned baits in the wild is one of the main threats to the wild. BSPB actively supports the establishment of institutional capacity to combat and prevent attacks on protected species. In the summer of 2021, the National Action Plan to Combat the Illegal Use of Poisons in the Wild (2021–2030) was approved, developed by BSPB. The plan has an approved action protocol for investigating poisoning cases and has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Interior authorities for implementation. The use of poisoned baits in nature is prohibited under international, European, and national legislation.