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What’s kept us busy in making the Rhodope Mountains a wilder place

Egyptian vulture

In the past the Egyptian vulture was wide-spread throughout Bulgaria and Greece with high population numbers. There are records of pairs nesting even on the hills in the city of Plovdiv in Bulgaria. Today the Balkan Peninsula is home to less than 90 pairs, one of the last and most secure haven for the species … Continued


The Eastern Rhodope Mountain holds one of the most stable wolf populations in Bulgaria. This is partially due to the extensive livestock breeding still practiced here, as well as to the depopulation of the area. For decades the wolf has been fiercely chased and eliminated by various means (shooting, poisoning, trapping etc.). Gradually its numbers … Continued


A few millennia ago several species of wild horse lived in Europe, including in Bulgaria. As human population grew, however, wild horse numbers decreased. The last surviving subspecies were just two: the Tarpan (Equus ferus ferus) in Eurasia and Eastern Europe, and the Mongolian Wild Horse, also known as Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus przewalski) – … Continued

Fallow deer

In the Rhodope mountains the fallow deer is proving the pivotal species in our efforts to rewild the land. Boosting fallow deer population is not only important for aiding the return of large carnivores, but also shapes a landscape which is very attractive for huge variety of species. The most important role of fallow deer in nature is to maintain the mosaic landscape of the Eastern Rhodopes. This is of great importance for the conservation of the rich biodiversity of the region. Remains of dead deer are an important food source for Griffon, Egyptian and Black Vultures.

Red deer

The red deer, along with the other wild ungulates, plays an important role in maintaining open forest spaces and pastures. Pastures attract multiple insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals – an important link in the food chain for other species. On the other hand, large herbivores are a major food  resource for predators and vultures. … Continued

European bison

The European bison, a cousin of the North American bison, is the largest herbivore in Europe and a key species in the development of open forest ecosystems. The bison has become one of the symbols of nature conservation in Europe. The history of this iconic species serves as an example of how only within a … Continued